The Saints will host a pair of established but aging veteran linebackers for workouts on Wednesday. The team has suffered a hit to depth and veterancy at the position with a potentially-season ending injury to Marc Simoneau.
Long time Buccaneers franchise anchor Derrick Brooks, 36, released by his team this offseason after eleven Pro Bowl appearances in fourteen seasons, will arrive in New Orleans tonight. Brooks made the Pro Bowl team in 2008 and had been to ten consecutive, is almost certainly headed for the Hall of Fame.
It may not be a coincidence that former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden has been visiting with the Saints this past week. Gruden was head coach in Tampa Bay since 2002.
Veteran Derek Smith, 34, is a twelve year veteran who spent most of his time with the 49ers from 2001 to 2007.
Its clear the Saints are looking to replace the veterancy they lost with Marc Simoneau's triceps injury. Signing one of these players would likely mean the Saints will place Simoneau on injured reserve or waive him with an injury settlement.
Brooks is clearly in decline, but the extent to which he could still contribute at a high level would likely depend on the scheme. Brooks helped create the Tampa 2 defense.
Smith has never been a revolutionary like Brooks, but rather has been in the past a stalwart at inside linebacker. He played for two teams in 2008, Miami and San Diego, beginning the season in San Diego as the starter for the first four games in place of suspended linebacker Stephen Cooper. He was benched and later released before finishing the final weeks of the season in Miami.
Other injuries to note are a torn meniscus in the left knee of fourth round pick safety Chip Vaughn. He will have a scope done on the tissue today, a minor surgical procedure. The hope is that Vaughn will be able to return soon.
Also, both WR Courtney Roby and CB Tracy Porter are battling hamstring injuries. WR D'Juan Woods has a pinched nerve in his neck.