The Saints have agreed to sign free agent linebacker Anthony Chickillo to a one-year deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
A sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft, Chickillo had spent his entire career with Pittsburgh until being released earlier this year. After completing his rookie contract, Chickillo inked a two-year, $8MM contact with the Steelers in 2019 despite receiving free agent interest from the Patriots. Pittsburgh decided to cut bait halfway through the deal, saving $5MM in the process.
Chickillo, 27, spent most of his Steelers career as a reserve (65 games, nine starts). His most productive campaign came in 2016, when he made seven starts and played on roughly a third of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps. Last year, Chickillo played in 11 games, racking up a half-sack and 19 total tackles.
Chickillo has spent a great deal of time on special teams duty (at least 67% playtime in each of the past four seasons), and that’s likely what he’ll do for the Saints. New Orleans is projected to start Demario Davis, Kiko Alonso, and Alex Anzalone in base sets, with Craig Robertson and rookie Zack Baun in reserve, so Chickillo isn’t even necessarily guaranteed a place on the Saints’ final roster.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.