Saints re-sign special teams ace RB Dwayne Washington for 2022

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Here’s a good move: the New Orleans Saints brought back Dwayne Washington for the 2022 season, the team announced Monday, signing the running back to a one-year deal. Washington was one of their top special teams players in 2021, when he finished with the sixth-most snaps played in the kicking game. He’s one of just two players to log 200-plus snaps on special teams for New Orleans in each of the last three seasons, along with safety J.T. Gray, who has earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl recognition in the role.

So bringing Washington back makes sense. He joins a depth chart at running back that also features Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram II, Tony Jones Jr., Josh Adams, and fullback Adam Prentice, but the Saints should continue to look for a quality backup for Kamara. Ingram and Jones didn’t show much in 2021 while battling injuries, while Adams is returning from the practice squad — Kamara is expected to miss time this season stemming from a Las Vegas arrest earlier this year.

Washington could figure to play a larger role on offense in Kamara’s absence, but that’s unlikely given he has seen just 15, 11, and 18 snaps with the offense in New Orleans over the last three years. He’s averaged 0.9 attempts for 4.5 yards per game in his Saints, clocking an impressive rate of 5.2 yards per carry but seeing few opportunities. Washington has helped his case a little by catching all three of his targets to pick up 18 receiving yards, though.

Still, good on him for extending his career. Washington, who turns 28 next Sunday, was initially drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions after posting a solid three-year run with the Washington Huskies in college. The Lakewood, Calif. native has carved out a real role for himself since signing with the Saints’ practice squad in 2018. Let’s see where his career takes him next.

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