July 31, 2011

Saints Add UFA McBride to DE Depth Chart Competition

The Saints have agreed to terms with free agent DE Turk McBride, who spent last year in the Lions' devastating defensive end rotation.

McBride, 6'2, 278, is four years out of Tennessee, and under the rules of the previous CBA the Lions attempted to retain him by placing a second round restricted free agent tender on him.  Under the rules of the new CBA, McBridge was eligible for unrestricted free agency.

McBride spent the locked-out offseason finishing his degree at Tennessee, completing his degree in sociology.

McBride, while collecting a career-high five sacks and three forced fumbles in 2009, ended the season fourth in line behind Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson for playing time.  The Lions hoped to bring McBride back.

Entering the league as second round pick of the Chiefs in 2007, McBride started nine games in his second year but never really fit the 3-4 scheme.  He was waived by Kansas City after week one of the 2009 season, and was claimed by the Lions, where he enjoyed more success in a 4-3 scheme.

The Saints have a deep lineup at defensive end, but will likely start the season without starting right defensive end Will Smith, who leads the defensive line with production and veterancy. The NFL is expected to finally lay down the four-game suspension from the Starcaps case that has been pending for years.

Alex Brown, first round pick Cameron Jordan will vie for the left starting defensive end spot though both may end up starting for the first quarter of the season.  McBride enters the competition next to Junior Gallette, Curtis Johnson and seventh round pick Greg Romeus.

Jimmy Wilkerson and Jeff Charleston, members of last year's rotation at defensive end, are free agents. Wilkerson worked out with the Seahawks on Sunday.

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