METAIRIE, La. ― Kendrick Clancy was in his Oxford, Miss., house, contemplating retirement and his immediate future.
And then the Saints called, offering him a chance for at least one more year in the NFL.
On Monday, Clancy practiced with the Saints for the first time since going on IR in early November after constant knee problems kept him off the field for New Orleans in the 2009 Super Bowl-winning season.
“It’s cool just to be back out here,” Clancy said. “Even if I don’t make the team, just to have the opportunity to be back out here it was good.”
When asked if he thought he had an opportunity to stick with the team despite having only three days to prove he’s healthy enough to play following microfracture surgery, he said absolutely.
“I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t an opportunity,” Clancy said. “They wouldn’t have called me if there wasn’t an opportunity.”
Clancy, now in his 11th season, said he was close to retiring, nearly signing his retirement papers with the league.
“I was just, like, for the most part, I had a nice career,” Clancy said. “I can’t complain. Don’t even try to pressure yourself to come back. But it worked out fine.”
He was beginning his attempt to lose weight, trying to get under his current weight of 310 pounds. He couldn’t, however, have passed a physical at the beginning of training camp.
“I wasn’t in no shape at the beginning of training camp,” Clancy said. “I had really just started, I was just walking, trying to keep my weight down and not get heavy. Really trying to get this weight off me and lose weight because I figured it was all over.”
For Head Coach Sean Payton, bringing in Clancy gives him an opportunity to know where his former player is at. If they cut Clancy right now, he’ll still have been evaluated.
“The key is how’s his knee holding up and how does he feel,” Payton said. “He had a good workout yesterday and he’s a player that if healthy can give you some good snaps, especially on early downs, because he plays the run very well.”
Regardless, Clancy is just happy to have another chance to play.
“Even just to have the opportunity,” Clancy said. “I feel grateful. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity.”