The New Orleans Saints have signed a fourth quarterback.

They signed former Concordia College quarterback Griffin Neal. Griffin had a circuitous route to the NFL shot. Neal did not get a shot in 2015 after graduating from Concordia.  He played semi-pro ball last season for the Hildesheim Invaders in Germany.

Neal is 6-4, 220-pound Neal worked out at Tulane’s Pro Day in mid-March and impressed the Saints enough to earn a spot on the roster.  He hails from Fargo, North Dakota, and completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 5,614 yards, 47 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in his career at Concordia.  And completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,268 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions with the Invaders in 2015.

The Saints now have four quarterbacks on the roster in Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Garrett Grayson and Griffin Neal. The wisdom of signing Neal means there will be competition in camp and does not necessarily speak to the development of Garrett Grayson.

 

Some little known facts about Coach Sean Payton’s quarterbacking career which also saw some circuitous routes. (From Wikipedia)

Although he was not drafted in the 1987 NFL Draft, Payton tried out for the Kansas City Chiefs for one day. In 1987, he played quarterback for the Chicago Bruisers and Pittsburgh Gladiators during the inaugural season of the Arena Football League, before his rights were sold for $1,000.00 to the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL. He was also a member of the Chicago Bears squad of strikebreaking replacement players, known as the “Spare Bears,” during the 1987 NFL players strike. In 3 games he completed 8 of 23 passes (34.8%), for 79 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT, a passer rating of 27.3. He was also sacked 7 times for 47 yards and had one rush attempt for 28 yards. Coincidentally, his one interception came against the New Orleans Saints, the team he would later go on to coach to a Super Bowl.

In 1988, he played for the Leicester Panthers of the professional UK Budweiser National League. Payton landed the starting quarterback role for the Panthers. Payton led the Panthers to a touchdown on their first possession. That same season saw the Panthers go to the Quarterfinals of the British League, eventually losing to the London Olympians after Payton had returned early to the US to take up a coaching position