Sports Outside the Beltway

New Orleans Saints sign veteran QB Joey Harrington

The one-time 3rd overall pick, now has to take a job as an NFL 3rd stringer if he wants to stay in football. From AP-

NEW ORLEANS — The “piano man,” Joey Harrington, has landed a new gig in the birthplace of jazz. He’ll be playing third fiddle behind Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees and backup Mark Brunell.

Harrington signed with the Saints and participated in his first practice Friday at the team’s suburban training center, a day before the Saints were set to leave for Sunday’s game at Denver.


Harrington, a standout at Oregon also known for his talent as a pianist, has spent six seasons in the NFL since being drafted third overall by Detroit in 2002. He played for Miami in 2006 and for Atlanta last season.

He appeared in 12 games for the Falcons, completing nearly 62 percent of his passes for 2,215 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.


The Saints opened training camp with three quarterbacks, but cut Tyler Palko before the regular season and settled on reserve receiver and special teams regular Terrance Copper as their emergency third quarterback.

This week, Copper is out with a pulled hamstring, so the Saints decided to bring in Harrington, who had worked out for New Orleans in Indianapolis, where the Saints practiced during Week 1 to avoid disruptions from Hurricane Gustav.

As a Miami Dolphin follower of some two decades, I am well acquainted with Harrington’s flaws as a NFL starting QB. He piloted the Fins for most of the remaining 2006 season after Daunte Culpepper was benched. Miami’s record from week 5 on? 5-7. Not all of it Harrington’s fault, but his record since coming in the league clearly shows he is no more than an NFL backup. A 3rd string job in New Orleans seems fitting.

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