(WVUE) - When Michael Mauti announced in the midst of the Saints' 2016 season that he was going to undergo a surgery to treat his ulcerative colitis, the Mandeville High alumnus' football career was put on hold and very much, in jeopardy.
After an offseason of working out back home without an NFL contract, the Saints returned for the linebacker on Monday, signing him to a contract heading into training camp. Sean Payton said Wednesday that he was keeping close tabs on Mauti throughout the process.
"I promised him when he left for the surgery and procedures that he was going to go through that we'd work him out when he was healthy and two or three different times, I'd get this little video clip sent to me and it was him doing power cleans, doing this and that, so I knew we were going to work him out but more importantly, it was fantastic to see him healthy and it'll be somewhat impressive with his process of going through what he's gone through and then playing football again but that was an easy decision," said Payton. "He went through a workout the other day with us, I already knew he was going to pass it based on the videos he sent. And so that was a little bit more going through the process but it's good to have him back and have him back healthy."
Apart from his temporary departure, Mauti is the second-longest tenured linebacker on the roster behind only Stephone Anthony.