Saints sign former Vikings, Jets tight end Chris Herndon

·2 min read

Here’s some more depth for one of the New Orleans Saints’ weaker position groups. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Saints were “expected to sign” tight end Chris Herndon on Tuesday, which was confirmed by NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill once pens were put to paper. It’s an interesting addition. The corresponding move to open a spot on the 90-man roster isn’t immediately clear.

Herndon, 26, put up his best numbers as a rookie with the New York Jets in 2018 — totaling 39 receptions (on 56 targets) for 502 receiving yards, 4 touchdown catches, and 25 first down conversions. Since then he’s amassed 36 receptions (off of 54 targets) for just 334 yards, 4 TD’s and 21 first downs. And that’s after the Jets traded him to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a fourth-round pick, where Herndon played a bit part (only twice seeing 20-plus snaps on offense).

Some of that drop-off has been attributed to a lost 2019 season that began with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, following by a season-ending hamstring injury just 18 snaps into his return. That rough sophomore year stunted Herndon’s development and put him on the outs with New York. Now he’s looking for a fresh start, and the Saints do have a history of getting the most out of their tight ends.

If Herndon can climb the depth chart and recapture some of that playmaking ability he flashed as a rookie, maybe he finds a second wind in New Orleans. Taysom Hill is sidelined with a rib injury. Nick Vannett and Juwan Johnson have been limited in practice managing their own ailments. That leaves newcomers J.P. Holtz, Brandon Dillon, and Lucas Krull in the mix. We’ll see if Herndon can stand out from the pack soon enough.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire