What Are The Saints Getting in WR Kevin White?

An often injured former high draft choice gets a chance to resurrect his once-promising career with a questionable New Orleans receiving corps.
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The New Orleans Saints signed free agent wide receiver Kevin White on Tuesday after a tryout with him and three other wideouts.

White's addition came a week after WR Jalen McCleskey was placed on injured reserve. Tre'Quan Smith has returned to practice after missing several days, but backup Tommylee Lewis remains sidelined.

White’s chances to make the roster seem slim at best. However, he joins a receiving corps that will be without record-breaking All-Pro Michael Thomas and is filled out with unproven players and inconsistent production.

Kevin White was the 7th overall selection by the Chicago Bears in the 2015 NFL Draft out of West Virginia. He came out of college after only two years, but had 109 receptions for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014 with the Mountaineers.

A physically imposing receiver at 6’3” and 216 pounds., White further impressed scouts with a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was viewed as a mismatch with his rare size-speed combination who would have to improve his routes, but could win most matchups with his physical attributes.

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WHITE - BEARS (2015-2018)

Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White (11) against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White (11) against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

White was diagnosed with a left shin fracture suffered during practice during training camp in his rookie year with the Bears.

He’d have a steel rod inserted into the tibia of his left leg before the regular season and missed his entire rookie season.

After starting the first four games of the 2016 campaign, White suffered a broken left fibula. The injury forced him to go on injured reserve and caused him to miss the rest of the year. He had 19 receptions for 187 yards over his four games played.

White fractured his shoulder blade in the 2017 season opener. After 2 catches for 6 yards, he was placed on injured reserve for the third consecutive year.

White appeared in a career-high nine games during the 2018 season. However, he was targeted just 8 times and caught 4 passes for 92 yards.

Chicago declined to pick up White's fifth-year option, allowing him to hit free agency after only 14 games with the team.

WHITE (2019-2020)

Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White (11) attempts to make a catch over Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson (27). Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White (11) attempts to make a catch over Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson (27). Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

White signed a free-agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason of 2019. He was released in training camp and would sit out the 2019 season.

Signing with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2020 training camp, White was active for three games last season and failed to record a reception. After signing a reserve/futures deal with the 49ers, he was released by the team last week.

Kevin White missed an eye-popping 50 of 64 games because of injuries over his first four years in the NFL. He has only 25 receptions for 285 yards in his career and has yet to reach the end zone.

White's career quickly fizzled after so much promise entering the league. Once thought of as a can't-miss prospect because of rare physical abilities, White now faces long odds to resurrect his career in a depleted New Orleans receiving corps.

Follow Bob Rose on Facebook and Twitter @bobbyr2613.


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