Free agent linebacker James Laurinaitis will fly to New Orleans tonight and visit with the Saints on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link). This comes on the heels of a recent statement from Saints head coach Sean Payton, who said improving the team’s defensive front seven would be one of its main areas of concern this offseason.
This will be the first free agent visit for Laurinaitis since the Rams released him on Feb. 19. The 29-year-old is fresh off his seventh consecutive 100-tackle season since entering the NFL in 2009 as a second-round pick. More impressively, he has never missed a game or a start, suiting up 112 consecutive times while chipping in 16.5 sacks and 10 interceptions along the way. However, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated his 2015-16 performance an ugly 83rd out of 97 qualifying LBs.
Earlier today, the Saints opened up $3.2MM of spending space when they cut receiver Marques Colston, and that money could obviously go toward signing Laurinatis. The ex-Ohio State standout was due base salaries of $5.775MM in 2016 and $6.1MM in 2017 before the Rams released him.
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