<span> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">SAINTS SIGN ECKEL, JONES; WAIVE CARNEY, McCAULEY</span>
The New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that the club has signed free agent fullback Kyle Eckel and safety Herana-Daze Jones and waived kicker John Carney and cornerback Marcus McCauley. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Eckel is a third-year player out of the Naval Academy who has played in 22 career regular-season games in stints with the Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, gaining 175 yards on 59 carries with one catch for six yards and 13 tackles on special teams. The 5-11, 237-pound fullback previously played in five games for the Saints earlier this season, with one start, carrying the ball twice for six yards.
Jones is a 5-11, 206-pound safety who is in his fourth NFL season, having played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos previously as a pro. The former standout defensive back at Indiana University has played in 30 career regular-season games and made 43 tackles and forced a fumble on special teams with eight more stops on defense. A native of Louisville, Ky., Jones – whose first name is pronounced "Hernandez" – first entered the league as an undrafted free agent signed by Cincinnati in 2005. He spent his rookie season on the Bengals' practice squad before playing two-plus seasons there before moving on to Denver, where he closed the 2008 campaign. He participated in the 2009 training camp of the New England Patriots before being waived in their final preseason cuts.
Carney, a 21-year NFL veteran, signed with Saints in August for his second stint with team and played in the team's first 11 games, going 13-for-17 on field goals and converting 50 of 52 extra point tries. The 45-year old is the second-leading scorer in franchise history with 750 career points and also ranks second with 163 field goals in seven seasons (2001-06, 2009) with the Saints. Earlier this season, he became just the sixth player in NFL history to play in 300 career games.
McCauley is a third-year player who originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings (72nd overall) in 2007. The 6-1, 203-pound Fresno State product has played in 27 career regular-season games – all but one of them with the Vikings – with 10 starts, and has tallied 66 tackles, 10 passes defensed and five tackles on special teams. He signed with the Saints as a free agent on Dec. 8 and was inactive for both games since joining the team.