METAIRIE, La. -- Robert Meahem is back with the Black and Gold -- again.
The New Orleans Saints announced Wednesday they had re-signed the veteran wide receiver after terminating his contract prior to Saturday's deadline to cut their roster to 53 players.
To free up room for Meachem, the Saints placed linebacker Khairi Fortt to the short-term injured reserve list, which allows him to return after Week 6.
'It was just part of the plan and again, when the player is terminated it is a little different,' head coach Sean Payton. 'He is free to sign with anyone else. Fortunately he is someone that knows what we are doing and we were able to get through a couple of days here of transactions and then make that move.'
This is the third time the Saints have resigned Meachem, the club's first-round draft pick in 2007. He inked a lucrative four-year, $29.5 million deal with San Diego in 2012, however after a disappointing season, he was released. The Saints then scooped him for $710,000, the one-year veterans minimum for a player with seven years experience.
After catching 16 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns in 2013, the Saints brought Meachem back on another one-year deal, this time for $920,000. The terms of his most recent contract were not disclosed, though it's likely similar to the contract the Saints terminated over the weekend.
'He is someone that I feel like still runs (well),' Payton said.'I think he is someone that can still help us in the run game blocking.I think he is a big target.He is pretty consistent and I think the key with him is his ability to go and get down the field. I think he has his weight where it needs to be.For him, there are a handful of things that he does well and we think he still does those things.'
Quarterback Drew Brees said he's thrilled to have Meachem back with the team and that it speaks volumes about how much he means to the organiztion.
'We knew that this journey was meant to be with him, and he certainly can help us win,' he said. 'There's always that dilemma during cut time where you've got to part ways with some guys that you'd really love to keep. I'm just glad he's still with us.'
Wide receiver Kenny Stills, meanwhile, was limited in his return to practice. He's been battling a quad injury he initially sustained while working with quarterback Drew Brees in San Diego during the month between OTAs and training camp. Stills re-aggravated that injury during the team's first day of practices at The Greenbrier and was held out until the team's third preseason game in Indianapolis, where he again re-aggrevated that same quad. His status for Sunday's season opener at Atlanta is uncertain, though Meachem's signing could indicate Stills isn't quite ready for game action.
Fullback Erik Lorig, whom the Saints signed to a four-year, $4.8 million deal in March, has not practiced since injuring his ankle during the Black and Gold Scrimmage on Aug 2. in West Virginia. The fullback was on crutches and wore a walking boot while riding a stationary bike during the viewing period on Wednesday.
In four seasons with Tampa Bay, Lorig never carried the ball as he was primarily used as a blocker. He did, however, have 30 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown, starting in 24 of his 56 appearances.
Injured safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) was present and rode the stationary bike, though he was not in pads.