The New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday, July 27 that they have signed defensive end Kendall Donnersonand cornerback Brian Poole, placed offensive lineman Derrick Kelly on Non Football Injury and placed wide receiver Michael Thomas on Physically Unable to Perform. The announcement were made by Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Donnerson, 6 feet 3, 249 pounds, was originally selected by the Green Bay Packers as a seventh round draft pick out of Southeast Missouri in 2018. After spending the final month of his rookie season on Green Bay's active roster, Donnerson has also had practice squad stints with the Raiders (2019) and Cincinnati Bengals (2020). He played in all 45 games with 21 starts in four seasons (2014-17) at Southeast Missouri, registering 144 tackles (84 solo), 34½ tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, an interception, nine passes defensed, six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The Maumelle, Ark., native finished his college career ranked No. 3 in school history in tackles for a loss and No. 4 in sacks. He started all 11 games as a senior in 2017, earning first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference recognition after posting career highs in tackles (53), solo tackles (36), tackles for a loss (13½) and sacks (six).
Poole, 5-10, 213, was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida in 2016, playing three seasons with the Falcons (2016-18) and the last two with the New York Jets. In 70 career games (38 starts), he has registered 298 tackles (227 solo), 6.0 sacks, seven interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, 33 passes defensed, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, a safety and one special teams stop. In five postseason games with four starts for Atlanta, the Bradenton, Fla., native has posted 22 stops (19 solo).
In 2020, Poole played in nine games with seven starts for the Jets before being placed on Injured Reserve with shoulder and knee injuries and posted 44 tackles (34 solo), one sack, two interceptions and seven passes defensed.