The New Orleans Saints' relationship with receiver Brandon Marshall ended Wednesday, but could resume in the future, Coach Sean Payton said Thursday.
Marshall, a 13-year veteran who was signed Nov. 12, was inactive for his four games with New Orleans. He played the first seven games of the season with Seattle, where he caught 11 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.
The release was precipitated by a couple of factors: The need for help on the offensive line, as backup lineman Michael Ola was carted to the locker room during Sunday's 28-15 victory over Tampa Bay, and the possible return of receiver Ted Ginn Jr. , who has been on injured reserve since Oct. 18 after having knee surgery. Ginn caught 12 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, and had three carries for 26 yards, in four games prior to being placed on injured reserve.
"The decision was, we had an opportunity to claim a player," Payton said. "And we feel like Ted is close to coming back. And look, we still might be in a position to possibly bring Brandon back. But yesterday, we needed a roster spot."
With Ola headed to injured reserve this week, the Saints added offensive tackle Derek Newton.
Newton, a 6-foot-6, 315-pounder, was drafted in 2011 by Houston and started 68 of 82 games for the Texans from 2011-16 before tearing both of his patellar tendons in a game against Denver on Oct. 24, 2016.
He spent 2017 on the Physically Unable to Perform list for Houston before he was released by the Texans.
"We'd worked him out a few weeks prior and the workout had gone well," Payton said. "We felt like he was in shape. The question, certainly, was his health given the injuries. But it was impressive, so he was a guy that's been on our short list."
"When a guy misses a year, it's significant. So you're skeptical to begin with. And yet, he moved around well, his workout was good, he was strong, the physical looked clean. We felt like he's got the right makeup, so we'll have a chance to see him and work with him now, and bring him along."