On the first day training camp, as rookies begin to report, the Saints have signed 7-year veteran Shane Vereen. Vereen joins Terrence West, Trey Edmunds, Jonathan Williams, and Boston Scott in a crowded backfield behind surefire starters Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (after he serves his four-game suspension, of course.) The Saints also waived Daniel Lasco to make room for the move.
Vereen brings with him tried and tested dual-threat capabilities. While spending his first four years with New England and the last three with the New York Giants, he’s out-gained his ground game through the air four of the last five seasons, The exception came on a season in which he was missed the majority of games with injury.
Vereen had his best two seasons in 2014 with the Pats and 2015 with the Giants. He brought in over 750 scrimmage years in both season, topping off with 838 in 2014. Those two seasons were also his highest volume of snap count shares as well at 52% and 39% respectively. Last season after returning from injury, he played in all 16 games and compiled 417 scrimmage yards but no touchdowns in a vastly depleted Giants Offense. However, his 83% catch percentage last year is impressive along with his 15.8 yards per reception out of the backfield. That puts him above Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in both categories albeit with fewer targets.
Whether or not Vereen gets the chance to contribute in regular season action will remain to be seen. I’d imagine he’ll get a heavy dose of tryout snaps throughout training camp and should be able to hang on long enough to see a decent amount of reps throughout the preseason. The Saints know what they have in Alvin Kamara, so there will likely be his share of snaps available to Vereen should they choose to keep Kamara limited throughout exhibition play.