The Saints continue to add veteran help post-draft. While Eric Wilson is not a New Orleans native like Tyrann Mathieu or Jarvis Landry, he represents a veteran with starter experience to join the team in recent days.
Wilson signed with the Saints on Monday, joining running back Devine Ozigbo in doing so. This will be Wilson’s fourth NFL team.
A full-time Vikings starter in 2020, Wilson broke through for a team that previously used him as a part-timer alongside Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. With the latter suffering a season-ending injury that September, Wilson recorded 122 tackles (nine for loss) and added three sacks and three interceptions. Still, major interest did not come his way in free agency. The former UDFA out of Cincinnati signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in April 2021 but received in-season walking papers. He finished last year with the Texans.
Wilson, 27, will join a Saints off-ball linebacking corps fronted by 10th-year performer Demario Davis. Beyond Davis, the Saints did not have a full-timer at linebacker last season. They started Pete Werner and Kwon Alexander in eight games apiece. Alexander is no longer with the team. Werner is a 2021 second-round pick who should have an inside track to play alongside Davis. The Saints also roster 2020 third-rounder Zack Baun. Wilson, who also started 10 games from 2018-19, stands to represent some insurance for a Saints team that has veterans across its defense.
Ozigbo, who played in 19 games with the Jaguars from 2019-21, caught on with the Saints last year. He will rejoin a Saints backfield stable that consists of Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Tony Jones and Dwayne Washington. To make room on their roster, the Saints waived offensive lineman Cohl Cabral, wide receiver Jalen McCleskey and linebacker Joel Dublanko.