After losing the likes of Willie Roaf and Joe Johnson this offseason, the Saints add a vital injection of veteran experience to the roster with 12-year veteran LB Bryan Cox (Patriots). The three-time Pro Bowler signed a one-year contract with the Saints.
The base minimum $750,000 contract will only count $450,000 against the Saints' salary cap. This is thanks to a new rule approved this offseason by the NFL, making it easier for teams to retain veterans. The discount only applies to veterans with four or more years of experience.
Cox, 6'4", 250 pounds, has played both inside and outside linebacker in his career, is expected to provide depth for the Saints at inside linebacker behind LB Charlie Clemons. Cox (pictured, #51, right) broke his leg in the middle of last season, missing the second half, but was a vocal leader for the Patriots on their way to the Super Bowl Championship. In fact, Cox was the defensive captain and the emotional leader for the Patriots.
After a late season collapse, the Saints have made sure to target players with veteran leadership skills and experience. Jake Reed and Cox are two of the three players that the Saints have signed, both are known for their emotional leadership.
Cox was close to signing with the Saints last offseason. He had been with the Saints early on in training camp but left town without a contract, and signed with the Patriots a few days into their training camp.