If Chase Hansen is going to fulfill his lifelong dreams of playing in the NFL, he’ll have to find another team. On Friday, the New Orleans Saints announced they’d waived the former University of Utah star linebacker a couple weeks after signing him as an undrafted free agent.
Hansen, who turns 26 later this month, underwent back surgery in January. Hansen’s father, Brian, told The Salt Lake Tribune recently that New Orleans considered the former Lone Peak High quarterback a draft risk due to his back injury. After transitioning from safety to linebacker for his final year at Utah, Hansen had 114 tackles, two interceptions and 22 tackles for loss in his last season as a Ute.
The former All-Pac-12 defensive talent wasn’t able to perform during Utah’s Pro Day in late March, adding that he played the second half of his senior year with a herniated disc. Hansen endured a lengthy list of injuries during his playing days at Utah. A hip injury suffered in Utah’s first-ever Pac-12 title game forced Hansen to miss the Holiday Bowl loss to Northwestern in December.
While Hansen now needs a new path to make it in the NFL, two other Utah prep products signed on the dotted line in New Orleans. Former Salem Hills star turned USC linebacker Porter Gustin signed a three-year deal. Gustin, who like Hansen suffered a string of bad luck with untimely injuries during his collegiate days, was also an undrafted free agent signing by the Saints. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Gustin also received a $10,000 signing bonus.
The former All-State talent from Salem Hills played in only 10 games his junior and senior campaigns due to toe and ankle injuries.
Former Judge Memorial quarterback Kaden Elliss, New Orleans’ seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft signed a four-year deal with the Saints as a linebacker. Elliss transitioned to defense at the University of Idaho, where he finished his career with 278 tackles and 17 sacks. Elliss is the son of former University of Utah legend Luther Elliss, who played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos.
“It’s pretty fun to kind of keep it going and I got some brothers coming down the line who are going to be pretty great players, too,” Kaden Elliss said. “It’s going to be pretty exciting for us.”