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Will Clapp returns to provide depth, experience for New Orleans Saints on offensive line

Saints also add former Tulane offensive lineman Christian Montano

If Christian Montano wants to know how to find a niche with the New Orleans Saints, he'll do well to monitor Will Clapp.

The Saints agreed to terms with Montano, and re-signed three-year veteran Clapp, this week, with each hoping to add depth to New Orleans' formidable offensive line.

Clapp, the Saints' seventh-round pick in 2018, has played in 25 games (with four starts) since joining New Orleans, starting games at both guard positions and as an extra lineman in the jumbo packages.

"Really, just been trying to do everything I can just to get on the field," said Clapp, who was a three-year starter at LSU and played all three interior line positions. "When I first got here, offensive line was pretty loaded. I realized just from always being able to play guard and center, I'd have to do that, obviously, in a backup role.

"But then, taking on the jumbo tight end role as well in certain games, and really just being there for whatever the team needs. That's just kind of how you survive in a backup role in the league and I'm just trying to keep getting better and eventually earn a starting job."

Montano spent his graduate transfer season at Tulane in 2019, starting all 13 games, after five seasons at Brown University, where he was a three-year starter. He spent the 2020 offseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and after participating in Tulane's pro day this year – Green Wave Coach Willie Fritz invited all players who weren't able to have pro day last year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, to participate this year – drew New Orleans' attention.

Montano, who can play guard or center, said the Saints' reputation for giving equal opportunities was significant.

"I think being a guy that, I came from a small FCS school at first before transferring to Tulane, having an equal opportunity is something that was important to me," he said. "Going from Brown to Tulane, I was looking for a spot where I wasn't going to be in a massive detriment, being a guy that was just transferring in.

"And I think being with a team that values players for their potential and what they can grow into, rather than what they've accomplished so far, is something that's really special to me since I know that I'm in one of those spots where I'm not necessarily the guy with the best resume so far, or the most applicable experiences. But a guy that's willing to work hard and put my best foot forward once I get down there."

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