Craig Robertson

Saints LB Craig Robertson Retires

The Saints will be without a well-respected part of their defense and locker room once again for the 2022 season. The team announced on Friday that veteran linebacker Craig Robertson has retired.

The 34-year-old played nine seasons in the NFL, beginning with four years in Cleveland. He topped 85 tackles in each of the first three seasons in that stretch, showing a knack for generating takeaways as well. After one more year with the Browns, he signed in New Orleans in 2016. That year was the one in which he set a new career-high in tackles (115), adding two fumble recoveries and an interception.

His play earned him a second deal with the Saints, where he brought his career total in games played up to 136, including 65 starts. His defensive playing time declines, as he transitioned into primarily a special teamer. After not suiting up in 2021, the former UDFA is hanging up his cleats for good. Robertson described his time in the league as “a blessing”.

Craig was a fantastic player, leader and a consummate professional throughout his time with the New Orleans Saints”, general manager Mickey Loomis said. “It was a pleasure watching Craig’s passion, toughness and leadership ability on the field, in our locker room and in our community”.

New head coach – and Robertson’s defensive coordinator during his time there – Dennis Allen added, “Craig was everything that you look for in a player, smart, hard-working and versatile… I congratulate Craig for what he achieved in his NFL playing career and thank him for his contributions to the New Orleans Saints”.

Without Robertson, the Saints will carry on with the likes of Demario Davis, Pete Werner and Zack Baun in their middle linebacking corps. Both on and off the field, though, they will certainly miss his presence.

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Saints Re-Sign Craig Robertson

The Saints are keeping linebacker Craig Robertson, according to Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). He’ll return on a two-year deal worth more than $4MM.

Like safety Chris Banjo, Robertson is a key special teams player for New Orleans. Banjo himself received a new deal from the Saints this week, a three-year extension worth $9MM.

Robertson was not believed to be a priority for the Saints heading into this week, but they still found the room to keep him on an inexpensive deal. Moving forward, the Saints’ top priorities are expected to be at tight end, defensive tackle, and backup quarterback.

Contract Details: P. Robinson, Robertson, Cook

Listed below are some specific details on several of the latest contracts recently agreed upon or signed by NFL free agents. All links courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.


  • Patrick Robinson, CB (Colts): Three years, $14MM. $6MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2MM roster bonus due this Tuesday. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year — becomes fully guaranteed if on roster beyond this Friday (all Twitter links).
  • Chris Hairston, OL (Chargers): Two years, $2.9MM. $550K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Thompson, DT (Bengals): One year, $840K. $50K signing bonus. $30K workout bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Leonard Hankerson, WR (Bills): One year, minimum salary benefit. $40K workout bonus. $40K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).
  • Steven Johnson, LB (Steelers): One year, minimum salary benefit. $25K signing bonus. $55K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).


  • Craig Robertson, LB (Saints): Three years, $5MM. $1.965MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $250K roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $275K due on fifth day of 2018 league year. Up to $1.5MM in annual incentives (Twitter links).
  • Jared Cook, TE (Packers): One year, $2.75MM. Up to $900K in incentives for catches, TDs, and Pro Bowl (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Courtney Upshaw, OLB (Falcons): One year, $1.25MM. $390K signing bonus. $100K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $250K in incentives for playing time and playoffs (Twitter links).
  • Mike Morgan, LB (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Jamarca Sanford, S (Saints): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus. $130K of $885K salary is guaranteed (Twitter link).

Saints Sign Craig Robertson

FRIDAY, 3:14pm: The Saints have officially announced their three-year deal with Robertson (via Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 8:54am: The Saints and Robertson are in agreement on a three-year contract, reports Adam Schefter of (via Twitter). The deal isn’t official yet, but word of the agreement comes as no surprise after Payton talked this morning as if Robertson would be on the team.

TUESDAY, 6:43pm: The Saints and free agent linebacker Craig Robertson are “working on” a deal, and head coach Sean Payton expects it to get done, according to Mike Triplett of (Twitter link). Katherine Terrell of corroborated Triplett’s report (on Twitter).

If the Saints sign Robertson, he’ll be the second notable addition to their linebacking corps since last week. New Orleans Craig Robertsonpreviously picked up James Laurinaitis, who is clearly the more established of the two. Nevertheless, Robertson has had a productive four-year career, all of which has been spent in Cleveland, and easily outdid Laurinaitis by Pro Football Focus’ standards last season. The site ranked Robertson 37th and Laurinaitis 83rd in overall performance among 97 qualifying linebackers.

For his career, Robertson – a former undrafted free agent from North Texas – has appeared in 58 of a possible 64 games and made 37 starts. Nine of those starts came in 2015, when Robertson amassed 59 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in 12 appearances. Prior to that, Robertson racked up 85 or more tackles in three straight campaigns, including a personal-best 99 in 2014. He also has six career INTs.

Robertson was an inside linebacker in Cleveland, but the Saints already have both Laurinaitis and Stephone Anthony as middle men. It’ll be interesting, then, to see how the club deploys those three (if it signs Robertson) – not to mention OLBs Hau’oli Kikaha and Dannell Ellerbe.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Raji, Packers, Pats

The latest free agent rumors:

  • Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter) heard that Packers lineman B.J. Raji had “five legit offers,” though as Silverstein notes, “legit” is in the eye of the beholder. Raji, he hears, had to weigh those offers versus wanting to spend time with his family plus his own health concerns.
  • Free agent receiver Nate Washington met with the Patriots on Monday, according to FOX 26’s Mark Berman (via Twitter). Washington was ranked as Pro Football Rumors’ No. 13 free agent wide receiver in early March.
  • Browns free agent linebacker Craig Robertson is on his way to visit the Saints, Adam Schefter of tweets. Robertson just got done visiting with Seattle. As Schefter notes, the Browns have already lost five unrestricted free agents this month and they could be on their way to losing free agent No. 6 if Robertson signs elsewhere.
  • Cornerback Antwon Blake will visit the Patriots on Tuesday, Mike Reiss of tweets. Blake visited the Titans today and also has a visit scheduled with the Lions on Wednesday.
  • The Giants are looking for cornerbacks, particularly corners that can play in the slot, Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger tweets. He adds that Patrick Robinson and Jerraud Powers are two players to keep an eye on. The Eagles, Dolphins, and Bears have also been connected to Robinson.
  • Free agent defensive end Chris Clemons completed his visit with the Dolphins, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

Free Agent Rumors: Wisniewski, Jaguars, Giants, Sanu

The latest free agent rumors:

  • Center Stefen Wisniewski remains an option to return as a starter for the Jaguars, but he is still shopping himself around, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets. The Jaguars, meanwhile, continue to seek out depth on the offensive line. Cowboys free agent guard Mackenzy Bernadeau is visiting the Jaguars, Todd Archer of tweets.
  • New Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu says that his agent indicated that the Giants, Chargers, Patriots, Bucs, Titans, and Washington were all interested in him, as Vaughn McClure of tweets.
  • The Raiders sniffed around Jerrell Freeman but they seem closer to signing a different inside linebacker in Erin Henderson, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Jets are also after Henderson, he adds.
  • Browns free agent linebacker Craig Robertson is on his way to visit the Seahawks, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer tweets.

Minor Moves: Monday

Here are today’s minor transactions from across the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening:

  • Howard Balzer of the SportsXchange (all Twitter links) passes along word on a number of exclusive rights and restricted free agents who officially signed their contract tenders today. According to Balzer, the following players are now under contract for the 2015 season: Browns linebacker Craig Robertson (second-round RFA), Browns safety Johnson Bademosi (low-end RFA), Steelers fullback Will Johnson (low-end RFA), Giants cornerback Chandler Fenner (ERFA), Ravens cornerback Tramain Jacobs (ERFA), and Chiefs wide receivers Frankie Hammond and Junior Hemingway (ERFAs).
  • The Seahawks have re-signed free agent center Lemuel Jeanpierre, according to Balzer (via Twitter). Jeanpierre, who turns 28 next month, started three games at center for Seattle near the end of the 2014 regular season.

Earlier updates:

  • The Titans have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with linebacker Kaelin Burnett, the club announced today (Twitter link). Burnett, who started his career with the Raiders, has played in 22 total NFL games, including five last year for the Titans, primarily as a special teamer.
  • Wide receiver Kamar Aiken signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Ravens today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The move was a mere formality, allowing Aiken to participate in the club’s offseason program.
  • Lions wide receiver and kick returner Jeremy Ross also signed his ERFA tender today, per Tim Twentyman of (Twitter link). Like Aiken, Ross was technically a free agent but wasn’t able to negotiate with any team besides Detroit.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

  • The Packers have informed running back DuJuan Harris they will not extend him an exclusive rights tender, Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Ravens are expected to assign an exclusive-rights free agent tender to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Steelers have offered one-year deals to restricted free agents Antwon Blake, Will Johnson, and Robert Golden, Scott Brown of ESPN tweets. All three will get the lower tender, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals announced they’ve re-signed Alameda Ta’amu to a one-year contract, as Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports tweets. The Cards decided not to tender him but they have retained him at a lower salary.
  • The 49ers will restructure their deal with safety Craig Dahl, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). It’s now a one-year, $1.3MM deal with a $200K signing bonus, a $175K roster bonus, and a $50K workout bonus.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed defensive ends Larry English and Lawrence Sidbury, tight end Luke Stocker and linebacker Jason Williams.
  • The Ravens have assigned a $510K exclusive rights tender to offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Wilson (link) also hears that the Ravens have given wide receiver Kamar Aiken a $585K exclusive rights tender.
  • The Ravens gave cornerback Tramain Jacobs a $510K tender, per Wilson (link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Bills announced that they have extended the contract of kicker Jordan Gay, according to’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter).
  • The Browns announced that they have tendered qualifying offers to four of their restricted free agents: free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive back Johnson Bademosi, defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and linebacker Craig Robertson, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. It’s a second-round tender for Robertson, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Gipson also gets the second-round tender, according to Ulrich (link).
  • The Ravens have sent a second-round restricted tender $2.356MM to Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers announced that they have agreed to terms with veteran tight end Matt Spaeth on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old appeared in 15 regular-season games in 2014 (eight starts) and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also started the Steelers’ playoff game against Baltimore.
  • The Buccaneers are not expected to tender an offer to fullback Jorvorskie Lane, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They could bring Lane, an ERFA, back on a different deal later, however. Lane had a tough year in 2014. He was hit with a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances in October and his season ended in November after he underwent surgery on his injured right leg.
  • The Broncos have placed the low-level contract tender on restricted free agent defensive back Tony Carter, extending him a one-year offer worth $1.542MM, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post. The move gives Denver the right to match any offer sheet Carter signs with another team, and according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), there may be strong outside interest.
  • The Cowboys have placed one-year tenders of $1.542MM each on restricted free agent punter Chris Jones and restricted free agent running back Lance Dunbar, sources tell Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. Dunbar is the Cowboys’ third running back and tendering him gives Dallas some insurance if DeMarco Murray signs with another team in free agency. He also gives them a reserve back in the event that they have to cut ties with Joseph Randle.
  • The Browns announced that they have re-signed offensive lineman Ryan Seymour. Seymour, 25, appeared in 11 games during the 2014 season, starting three at center. Nick McDonald was originally the team’s choice at center after Alex Mack went down with a broken leg, but Seymour eventually got his chance at the job.
  • The Panthers have re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Brenton Bersin to a one-year deal, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Bersin was an exclusive rights free agent.
  • The Panthers announced that they re-signed Fozzy Whittaker on a two-year deal, according to Person (on Twitter). The tailback had 32 carries for 145 yards last season and also contributed on kick returns. Linebacker Ben Jacobs and center Brian Folkerts got one-year deals to remain in Carolina (link). Tackle Kevin Hughes is the only Panthers ERFA who wasn’t tendered an offer (link).

Free Agent Notes: Freeman, Jets, Daniels

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has a trio of re-signings (via Twitter): running back Matt Asiata (Vikings), wide receiver Jeremy Ross (Lions) and linebacker Craig Robertson (Browns). Each player signed an exclusive rights free agent tender to stay with their respect teams. The trio was solid in 2013; Asiata ran for 166 yards on 44 carries, Ross had six receptions and six kick returns and Robertson compiled 85 tackles.

Let’s take a look at some more free agent rumors…