John Kuhn signs with Saints
After nine seasons as a fan favorite in Green Bay, John Kuhn has found a new NFL home.
The three-time Pro Bowl fullback signed Friday with the New Orleans Saints, a league source told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Kuhn will play for his third NFL team in New Orleans. He started his career in Pittsburgh.
Kuhn — or, as Packers fans know him, Kuuuuuuhn — was a Pro Bowler in each of his past two seasons but had yet to find a team as a free agent this offseason. He will turn 34 years old next month.
Through the offseason, Kuhn expected to continue his NFL career. He continued working out, hoping to latch on somewhere. Ideally, he would have received a 10th season in Green Bay, but the Packers are determined to go younger at the position.
Second-year fullback Aaron Ripkowski will assume Kuhn's starting job. Ripkowski was a sixth-round pick last year. Speaking with media earlier this week, new running backs coach Ben Sirmans said Kuhn's influence helped Ripkowski.
"It seems like he learned a lot from Kuhn," Sirmans said, "and was a guy that he kind of measured and saw the right things that Kuhn was doing. So he would know what to do when his name was called, and obviously, it’s really called upon right now in the role that he’s going to have. And everything that I’ve seen so far with him, I’ve been pretty pleased with."
Behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers, perhaps nobody in the Packers locker room knew coach Mike McCarthy's offense better. Kuhn was voted as a playoff captain by his teammates last season. He also was a dual threat in the backfield.
In almost a decade with the Packers, Kuhn rushed for 601 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 81 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns.