Multiple media outlets reported today that the New Orleans Saints had attained the services of former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett on a three-year deal. Original reports indicated that Barrett might attend the Saints rookie camp on a tryout basis. Instead, he’ll be headed to New Orleans as a member of the team.
J.T. Barrett Signs Three-Year Undrafted Free Agent Deal With New Orleans Saints
Barrett, who stands at around 6’1″, 224 pounds, was the signal caller at Ohio State. He played in the dual-threat role as the school’s only three-time captain and led the Buckeyes to two Big Ten titles and a national title in his four years with the program.
Barrett is a high-energy player. He uses natural athleticism to beat teams in both the run and pass game. He lacks what most would like to see from an NFL quarterback in accuracy, but has an overall solid game. In his last season, Barrett threw for 3,053 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 798 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Barrett was a top-10 finisher in the Heisman voting two times, with his highest finish being a fifth-place finish in 2014, after a season-ending ankle injury. In that season Ohio State would eventually go on to win the national championship.
Barrett is a well-known name due to his leadership at Ohio State, and some expected him to be taken on the last day of this year’s NFL Draft. However, Barrett fell off the draft board, and into the hands of Sean Payton and the Saints organization. Barrett chose the Saints over reported multiple NFL teams, perhaps the most prominent being the Indianapolis Colts.
After the departure of veteran quarterback Chase Daniel, the Saints quarterback depth currently stands at four players. Drew Brees is being followed by free-agent signee Tom Savage, and versatile second-year player Taysom Hill. Barrett will likely face an uphill climb to make the roster at the start of the season. However, as Sean Payton has said, the running for Brees’ backup remains a wide-open race.
Barrett is a born competitor and could serve in the NFL as a solid backup quarterback (or more) for some time.