April 4, 2002

Saints Agree to Terms With Free Agent T Victor Riley

The Saints have made another free agent signing this offseason, adding depth to the offensive line with mammoth tackle Victor Riley, a first-round draft pick in 1998 out of Auburn. Riley is generally regarded as one of the top tackles available on the free agent market.

The two sides have agreed to a two-year contract worth $2.7 million. The second year of the contract is voidable if Riley meets certain performance incentives. Riley could be a free agent again after this season.

Riley, 6'5", 320 pounds, 27 years old, brings plenty of size and strength to the position but also some off-field baggage. Riley must serve a one-game suspension this upcoming season. The NFL suspended Riley one game on March 19 for violating the league's personal conduct policy. In May 2001 he was accused of ramming his vehicle several times into a vehicle occupied by his wife and infant daughter, and charged with felony counts of aggravated assault and criminal damage to property, and misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident. Riley is now in a diversion program, which he has fully participated in.

The Chiefs, who acquired T Willie Roaf from the Saints in a trade and also spent big bucks on WR Johnny Morton, were unable to resign Riley. Several other teams, including Cleveland, Buffalo, Denver, and Jacksonville. The Saints were not reportedly in the running for his services until now.

Riley broke his leg last season in Week 5 and was unable to rejoin the team until Week 16. Riley was the Chiefs' starting right tackle, and had started 47 of 48 games in his first three years with the team, missing his only start as a rookie. Riley played both left and right tackle before settling into right tackle last season.

The move comes only days after officially signing free agent T Spencer Folau, who could start the season opener at right tackle for the Saints but move to right guard for the remainder of the season.

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