When Jeff Ireland first joined the New Orleans Saints’ staff, he was first given the title of director of college scouting.
That’s changed. According to reports from Fox and ESPN, Ireland is now serving as the assistant general manager.
In his role, Ireland will continue to oversee the college scouting, but will also work with general manager Mickey Loomis and director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot on matters pertaining to the 53-man roster.
This will not likely change how the team has operated over the last two months. When speaking with The Advocate at February’s scouting combine, Loomis said he was already seeking Ireland’s opinion on all matters — not just the draft.
“That’s great for me because we get to bounce some ideas, and I get to bounce some things off of him,” Loomis said. “I know he’s had some experience with those. He’s blending in well. He’s going to be a great asset for us.”
Before joining the Saints, Ireland served as the Miami Dolphins’ general manager from 2008-2013. He was hired to replace former director of college scouting Rick Reiprish in January.
After making the hiring, Loomis explained the Saints were looking for a “fresh perspective.”
New Orleans recently made a deal with the Dolphins that sent wide receiver Kenny Stills to Miami in exchange for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a third-round pick. Ireland played a role in bringing Ellerbe to Miami before the 2013 season.
As part of the deal, the Dolphins are paying $3.6 million of Ellerbe’s deal.
The New Orleans Saints retained some depth on their offensive line by agreeing to terms with Bryce Harris on a one-year contract, according to a source.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Harris entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, but the Saints declined the option to offer him a tender, which would have allowed New Orleans to match any offers the offensive lineman received from other teams.
Harris served as depth on the offensive line last season and started two games at left tackle in place of Terron Armstead. He logged 393 snaps and allowed 19 hurries and seven quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus.
New Orleans lost its other two restricted free agents. Running back Travaris Cadet signed with the New England Patriots, and defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker was picked up by the Detroit Lions.