The New Orleans Saints welcomed back one of their former receivers and Super Bowl winner, Robert Meachem, on Tuesday. Meachem left the Saints in free agency in 2012, signing with the San Diego Chargers. His consistently solid play with New Orleans netted him a big contract with San Diego, signing a four-year $25 million contract.
Meachem was supposed to replace the Chargers’ pro-bowl receiver Vincent Jackson, who left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, Meachem never panned out in San Diego. He caught only 14 passes for 207 yards on 32 targets and two touchdowns, both of which came against the Saints, naturally.
So, Meachem was released during the final roster cuts on Aug. 31, and a few days later he found his way back to New Orleans with a one year deal. At first I was not sure how I felt about this move, but after thinking about it, I think it’s a good call.
Meachem, who will turn 29 later this month, was the Saints’ first round draft pick in 2007. By 2009, he had recorded his best NFL season to date, making 45 receptions for 722 yards and nine touchdowns. His 16 yards per catch also led New Orleans that season, and placed him 27th in the NFL overall. And let’s not forget that he didn’t have a bad year in San Diego last year, and is only two seasons removed playing in the Saints system, where he caught 40 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns in 2011.
Meachem knows the system, has the experience, and can help mentor younger and less experienced receivers like Nick Toon and Kenny Stills. He might have knee issues and general injury concerns, but that remains to be seen. The beauty of the Saints’ offense is that he won’t be expected to carry a huge load all by himself. With many other offensive weapons, Sean Payton can play the match ups and use Meachem when he feels it is most necessary.