Michael Mauti will be back with the Saints next season. According to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com, the linebacker and special teams ace has signed a one-year contract with the team. The 27-year-old will earn a $775K base salary, with $125K guaranteed and a $80K signing bonus.
Throughout the offseason, it sounded like that Mauti would ultimately return to New Orleans. Back in April, head coach Sean Payton said that he expected the linebacker to be fully recovered from offseason surgery by the time training camp came around, even though Mauti was still a free agent at the time. Despite the optimism, Mauti worked out for the Texans late last week (via Katzenstein), but a workout with the Saints earlier today ultimately led to a new contract.
Mauti was forced to undergo three surgeries (including one to remove his large intestine) over the past year to fix his ulcerative colitis, a disease that forced him to end his 2016 season prematurely. The former seventh-round pick had to get back into football shape before securing an offer, perhaps explaining why it took so long for the organization to re-sign him.
Following two underwhelming seasons with the Vikings, Mauti has caught on with the Saints over the past two years. The linebacker has compiled 46 tackles and one forced fumble in 24 games (two starts) with New Orleans, and his special teams prowess earned him a role as a captain last season. Mauti will presumably continue to contribute on that unit, as the Saints are currently rostering nine other linebackers.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.