CB Tracy Porter will join QB Peyton Manning as a free agent addition of the Broncos. Porter famously intercepted Manning late in Super Bowl XLIV, high-stepping his way to victory.
The previous week in the NFC Championship game, Porter intercepted Vikings QB Brett Favre, a pivotal turnover that helped the Saints go to the Super Bowl.
Porter now will be intercepting passes for the Denver. After a lengthy free agent tour through St. Louis, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Tennessee, Porter has reportedly agreed to sign a one-year, $4 million deal in Denver. Porter was one of the top remaining defensive backs on the market.
Porter, 26, was a second round pick by the Saints out of Indiana in 2008, but was lost to a dislocated wrist injury in his rookie season. He rebounded in 2009 with his best season - four interceptions plus two more in the postseason. Porter scored crucial touchdowns on interception returns against Miami and Indianapolis - off of Manning - in his second season.
Unafraid of contact, Porter nevertheless showed poor tackling formation on numerous occasions in 2011, dropping his facemask upon impact. In a November game against Tampa Bay, Porter was on the turf for 10 minutes and carted away after a collision with Bucs WR Mike Williams. He collected 10 tackles, eight solo against the Giants three weeks later and had seven solo tackles in the Saints' wildcard victory over the Lions.
For the most part in 2011, Porter split starting job duties with Patrick Robinson across from solid starter Jabari Greer. Porter was credited with 11 starts out of 14 games this past season, many in nickel or dime formations in 2011.
The Port Allen, Louisiana native with two of the most famous turnovers in Saints history is another free agent leaving the cash-strapped Saints this offseason. Already the Saints have lost WR Robert Meachem and LG Carl Nicks. LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar is visiting St. Louis this week.
In Porter's place, Johnny Patrick, a third round pick last April, is expected to rise to the occasion. The Saints have no recognizable depth behind Patrick besides veteran Leigh Torrence, who moved from cornerback to free safety last season. Greer will be a free agent next season.