Nick Vannett didn't have to wade in the free agent waters too long before finding a new home in the NFL. Just a day after the tight end's release from the Denver Broncos became official, Vannett has agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
Vannett originally entered the league as a third-round draft choice of the Seattle Seahawks out of Ohio State in 2016. He spent the first three-plus years of his career with Pete Carroll's club before Seattle shipped him to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the early stages of the 2019 regular season. Both spots were not particularly fruitful for Vannett as a pass catcher, with the tight end totaling 591 receiving yards and five touchdowns over the first four years of his career.
Last spring, the 28-year-old signed a two-year, $5.7 million deal with the Broncos but was largely used as a blocking tight end in 2020. In 15 games played in Denver, Vannett tallied just 14 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans did lose veteran tight ends Jared Cook (Los Angeles Chargers) and Josh Hill (Detroit Lions) after releasing them earlier this offseason due to salary cap issues, leaving snaps that needed to be filled in their absence. Given his previous production in the league, Vannett shouldn't be expected to slot into Cook's former role within the Saints offense. Instead, that could go to 2020 third-round pick Adam Trautman while Vannett replenishes the depth at the position and becomes a solid blocking presence.