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New Orleans Saints, linebacker Kwon Alexander to reunite

'He's someone we wanted to have back'

The New Orleans Saints defense and linebacker Kwon Alexander were a snug fit last season, after the former LSU standout was traded to the Saints in November.

Alexander started all seven games he played for the Saints, and totaled 27 tackles, four passes defensed and two fumble recoveries before tearing his Achilles in Week 16.

The two parties Tuesday, Aug. 3 agreed to run it back, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract.

"All offseason, he's someone we've really paid close attention to where he's at with his rehab," Saints Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday of the unrestricted free agent. "He's someone we wanted to have back and it was just a matter of working out the right contract.

"He'll get in today (Wednesday). We're going to be slow with his acclimation. He's done a great job with his rehab, but the worst thing we could do is throw him right back out into practice. He'll be with us on the roster, all those things, in meetings, but there'll be a little bit of an acclimation period before he's ready to go."

Payton joked that Alexander's relentless presence won him over.

"I told him I got tired of his social media workouts," he said, smiling. "He was just wearing me out."

In seriousness, Payton said the posted workouts, while impressive, weren't necessary for the team to make its decision.

"We have pretty good information relative to where he's at," Payton said. "But don't let any of that mislead you; it's still a significant injury that takes time and we'll be smart with getting him up to speed."

Payton said there is no assurance that Alexander will be ready for the regular season opener.

"I think that's early," he said. "Based on the way he's moving around, it looks like he can be. But we'll see. I'm glad he's back with us, though.

"He's well-respected, he's a guy that we had a real good chance to evaluate when he was here and I know his teammates think the world of him. He's smart, so it's good to have him back."

LET'S WORK: The Saints added veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara on Monday as they attempt to bolster a position that Payton labeled a "must." Amukamara, a first-round draft pick by the Giants in 2011, was signed and released by the Raiders last season before landing on the Cardinals' practice squad.

"I'm really proud of myself to make sure I was ready," he said. "That was the first time I've ever had to work out for a team, so that was new to me."

Amukamara said he knows that the quickest way to get on a team is special teams, and that last year was humbling for him.

"First time I've ever been cut – and then going to Arizona, which I thought was a great opportunity to play there," he said. "But then not even being brought up (from the practice squad). But I did have an opportunity to sign with Denver around Week 11, Week 12, really wanted to play but still thought I had a great chance in Arizona.

"Arizona looked like we were going to the playoffs but it didn't happen. It's always hindsight, but it was just humbling. Got to learn a lot, got to see what the scout team guys went through. I was really just there helping out guys, any time a guy needed a breather, just go in there and relieve him because I knew my role."

Amukamara said he's back in part due to pride.

"Basically not allowing the 32 teams to have the last say about my career, and just allowing myself to have the last say and show the guys and teams that I can still play," he said. "I know I'm still in the place where I'm auditioning and so, when we get to preseason, I know I'm auditioning for 31 other teams. So that's my mindset, to just show the league that I can still go."

He has 10 career interceptions and 78 pass breakups.

The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 6 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

BITS AND PIECES: New Orleans placed cornerback Keith Washington II (wrist) on the reserve list, and added cornerback Adonis Alexander to the roster. Alexander was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the 2018 supplemental draft. Washington injured his wrist in Tuesday's practice.

Kicker Wil Lutz made his 2021 training camp debut. Lutz, who was on the non-football injury list for the first five practices, kicked field goals during a special team phase Wednesday.

Receivers Deonte Harris and Tre'Quan Smith didn't participate in practice, while safety Malcolm Jenkins and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk were present early, but departed and likely were given veteran maintenance days.

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