Smyth will have to continue proving himself at the Saints’ rookie minicamp and through the offseason program to secure a spot on the 53-man roster or practice squad. Grupe won the kicking job in training camp last summer and the Saints traded longtime kicker Wil Lutz to the Denver Broncos as a result. Grupe made 30-of-37 field goals and all 40 PAT attempts, but missed a potential game winner against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 and two field goals against the Houston Texans in what would be a 20-13 loss in Week 6.

He won’t be the only player with an unusual path to New Orleans. Second-year New Orleans punter Lou Hedley was an Australian rules footballer before moving to the United States to play American football.

“With a bit of self-belief and the right people around me, and with the right opportunity, I feel like I’ve given it me all, and I feel like I’ve got the ability to kick in this league and to kick for the Saints,” Smyth said. “It’s unbelievable, but now it’s time to get to work. This is when the real work starts.”