The Saints introduced cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Wednesday, and he said people misunderstood his recent use of a slur.
"I mean, I never stood by it," Jenkins told reporters. "They twisted it. I said I'm sorry to whoever I offended. The way I was raised, we got different cultures and different terms that you use. If I was to go out there and say, 'Hey, you went r------- on [the] football field,' would you look at it as me talking about somebody disabled? Or would you look at me [as] saying, 'Oh, he did some crazy stuff out there, some amazing stuff?' "
However, Jenkins' use of the slur when speaking to Saints reporters was different than how he used it last week.
Jenkins used the slur in a Twitter exchange with a fan, prompting Giants head coach Pat Shurmur to meet with him Jenkins last Wednesday. The team chose to release him on Friday for his "refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language."
One day before being waived, Jenkins defended his use of the slur to the New York media.
"I never said it was right. I said it was slang that I use back at home."
When asked if he regretted his word choice, Jenkins responded: "Yeah, I regret it. But at the end of the day, it's my slang, so if you take it how you're going to take it, then that's on you.
"I don't mean to offend nobody. My daddy always told me, 'Speak freely and own up to what you say.' So I always speak freely as a man, and I speak how I want to speak."
Jenkins played four seasons in New York from 2016-19. He was a Pro Bowler in his first season with the Giants, and the eight-year veteran tallied 12 interceptions with the team.
The Saints claimed Jenkins off waivers on Monday.