Saints release QB Blake Bortles after Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton signings

Blake Bortles' stay in New Orleans is ending.

The Saints released the quarterback Tuesday, per the transaction wire.

Bortles signed in New Orleans in late December as an emergency backup to rookie QB Ian Book after Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian were both placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Bortles watched Book get pounded during a blowout loss to Miami and didn't take a snap, having just signed.

He signed a reserve/future contract with the Saints in January. But with New Orleans re-signing Jameis Winston and adding Andy Dalton as the veteran backup, Bortles decided it was best to move on.

The former Jaguars No. 3 overall pick in 2014 has become a nomad since Jacksonville released him in March 2019 after five seasons.

Bortles backed up Jared Goff in Los Angeles in 2019. He threw two passes in relief, completing one for three yards -- his last pass attempts in a regular-season game. The Broncos signed Bortles in 2020, and he bounced from the active roster to the practice squad during the COVID-19-disrupted season but never saw the field. Then, in December 2020, the Rams signed him off the Broncos practice squad as insurance after Goff's injury.

Last offseason, Bortles signed with the Green Bay Packers but was released in late July. He re-signed to the Packers practice squad and was elevated to the roster after Aaron Rodgers tested positve for COVID-19. He was released in mid-November.

Leaving the Saints will allow Bortles to search for another home to play emergency backup. With COVID-19 protocols no longer in place, however, he might find it tougher to land a job.

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