Saints sign VooDoo's Curran
Two-way standout in Arena League set to focus at fullback
Thursday, July 15, 2004
By Jeff Duncan
Dan Curran had to wait 10 agonizing days, but he finally got his wish Friday when he officially became a New Orleans Saint.
The Saints signed Curran, the VooDoo standout of the Arena Football League, to a one-year contract for the rookie minimum of $230,000.
To prevent NFL teams from turning Arena Football League franchises into a farm system, NFL rules require teams that try to sign a player from their AFL teams to put that player on procedural recall waivers. That exposes the player to the other 31 teams in the NFL for 10 days. If no other team claims the player, his rights go to the signing team.
The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs also expressed interest in Curran, but none of those clubs placed a waiver claim for him.
To make room for Curran on the roster, the Saints released tight end Spencer Frederick.
Attempts to reach Curran were unsuccessful.
The Saints also announced the signing of kicker Rob Hart, who played for Scotland in NFL Europe this spring. Hart is the third kicker on the roster, joining veteran John Carney and rookie Nicholas Setta.
The club must release three more players before the start of training camp July 29 to reach the limit of 86.
The Saints were Curran's first preference because of his familiarity with the city and organization and the club's need for a fullback, said John Baker of Pro Star LLC., the Littleton, Colo.-based agency that represents Curran.
"New Orleans offered the best opportunity to make the roster," Baker said. "From a player's perspective, it's important to be familiar with the area and the front office. There's no adapting to a new environment. For any Arena player going to the NFL, it's important to find a situation where you have a chance to make the roster, because it is a major step."
Curran played linebacker and fullback with the VooDoo, but he will play only fullback with the Saints. He is expected to compete with rookie Mike Karney and veteran Sam Gash for a roster spot at fullback.
Curran was selected to the All-Arena team after he led the league with 336 rushing yards on 85 carries and 21 touchdowns. The scoring total is tied for third-highest in league history.
Curran, 6 feet, 240 pounds, played three seasons with the Georgia Force of the Arena League before signing with the VooDoo last Oct. 16. Curran, a native of Chelmsford, Mass., played at the University of New Hampshire.
"Dan's elated about it," Baker said. "The Saints like him, and it's a good opportunity for him."
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Jeff Duncan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 826-3405.