New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Tuesday that the club has signed wide receiver Kawaan Baker, linebacker Sharif Finch, tackle Jerald Hawkins, defensive tackle Braxton Hoyett, defensive backs Dylan Mabin, Jordan Miller and KeiVarae Russell and wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. to reserve/future contracts.
Wide receiver, South Alabama (6-1, 215): The club's seventh round draft pick (255th overall) in 2021 out of South Alabama, Baker played in the club's Week 16 and 17 contests, while spending the remainder of the season on the practice squad, recording one special teams tackle. In his college career, Baker caught 126 passes for 1,829 yards (14.5 avg.) with 16 touchdowns and carried 82 times for 376 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Linebacker, Temple (6-4, 250): Signed to the practice squad in late November and appearing in two games for New Orleans, where he recorded five tackles, Finch originally came into the National Football League in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Temple with the Tennessee Titans. In 28 career contests with three starts with the Saints, Titans and New York Jets, he has recorded 40 career tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight special teams stops. At Temple, Finch appeared in 53 games with 25 starts and posted 144 tackles, 32 stops for loss, 14.5 sacks, two interception returns for 91 yards and a touchdown, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries with a touchdown and is the NCAA's career leader with five blocked punts.
Tackle, LSU (6-6, 305): Originally a fourth round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016 out of LSU, this Baldwin native has appeared in 19 career games with one start for the Steelers (2016-18) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019). After appearing in 13 regular season games and one postseason contest for Pittsburgh in 2020, Hawkins went to training camp with the New England Patriots in 2021 and then spent the final month of the season on the Saints practice squad. Hawkins started all 37 games he played in at LSU from 2013-15 (25 at right tackle and 12 at left tackle), a key member of a 215 line that paved the way for the SEC's top rushing offense (256.8 yards per game).
Defensive tackle, Mississippi State (6-2, 302): Hoyett played in 44 games with 22 starts over four seasons at Mississippi State and totaled 62 tackles, 7.5 stops for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, one pass defensed and two fumble recoveries. The Pelham, Ala. native signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft and has had tenures on the Titans, Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens practice squads. Hoyett played in one contest for the Chiefs in 2020 and played in the Week 16 contest for New Orleans, where he posted four tackles (two solo) and one stop for loss.
Defensive back, Fordham (6-1, 195): The Macedonia, Ohio native played in 42 games with 31 starts at Fordham, where he posted 149 tackles, 6.5 stops for loss, one interception, 40 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. After signing with the Raiders as a rookie free agent in 2019 and spending most of his first campaign on their practice squad, he played in one contest for Las Vegas on special teams in 2020, before joining the Vikings and playing in three contests. Mabin went to training camp with the Vikings in 2021 and then spent the majority of the season on the New Orleans practice squad.
Defensive back, Washington (6-2, 190): The Oceanside, Calif. native has played in 12 career games for Atlanta (2019-20) and New Orleans (2021), recording four tackles and one special teams stop. Miller was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2019 by the Falcons out of the University of Washington, where he played in 46 career games and was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 performer as a senior in 2018. Miller appeared in one game for New Orleans in 2021, spending the remainder of the campaign on the practice squad.
Defensive back, Notre Dame (5-11, 194): This four-year veteran defender was originally a third round draft pick (74th overall) of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 out of Notre Dame. In 23 regular season games with one start for the Cincinnati Bengals (2016-18), Green Bay Packers (2020) and Saints 2021, he has recorded 20 tackles (17 solo), one interception, two passes defensed, one blocked field goal and one special teams stop. In 2021, he played in two games for New Orleans, spending the remainder of the campaign on the practice squad and recorded a special teams stop in the season finale at Atlanta. In three seasons at Notre Dame, Russell started all 37 games played and recorded 169 tackles (125 solo), five interceptions, two forced fumbles, two sacks and six passes defensed.
Easop Winston Jr.
Wide receiver, Washington State (6-0, 192): Winston appeared in three games for New Orleans in 2021, recording a five-yard reception and returning ten punts for 119 yards (11.9 avg.), spending the remainder of the season on the club's practice squad. Prior to going to training camp with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, the San Francisco native enjoyed a two-year standout career at Washington State, where he recorded 137 receptions for 1,624 yards (11.9 avg.) with 19 touchdowns.