New Orleans Saints sign Canadian offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais to practice roster

Photo: AP/Winslow Townson

The New Orleans Saints have signed Canadian offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais to the practice roster.

The 24-year-old was in training camp with the New England Patriots but was waived by the team on Tuesday as part of their final cuts. He worked out for the Patriots, Saints, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers, and San Francisco 49ers before signing with New England in January 2022.

Desjarlais was a first-round pick in the 2019 CFL Draft out of the University of Windsor. He established himself as a starter at guard for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by the midway point of his rookie season and continued to start in 2021, earning West Division all-star honours.

The native of Belle River, Ont. helped Winnipeg’s offensive line allow a league-low 16 sacks and produce a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns last season en route to winning a second consecutive Grey Cup.

The six-foot-two, 314-pound blocker performed well at the 2019 CFL Combine, recording a 5.19-second 40-yard dash, 4.57-second shuttle, 7.75-second three-cone, 30-inch vertical, nine-foot, one-inch broad jump, and 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

He attended rookie mini-camps with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants that year and visited the New York Jets before ultimately signing with Winnipeg.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.