Veteran linebacker Scott Shanle’s future with the Saints has been in question since the 2010 season ended. The 31-year old linebacker is an unrestricted free agent this year, and the Saints have some young linebackers waiting in the wings to overtake him on the depth chart.
Apparently Shanle has already confirmed he intends to meet with the Rams, who are also rumored to be in the market for Reggie Bush, according to multiple reports from Times-Picayune writer Mike Triplett.
Shanle said he’d still like to stay with #Saints and expects to talk with them, but it’s important to explore all options at this point. Spoke to free agent #Saints linebacker Scott Shanle. He said he’s already talked with St. Louis Rams about lining up a free agent visit
Shanle has been a valuable member of the Saints defense since joining up with the club in 2006 after Sean Payton took over. Primarily a weak-side linebacker during his time with the Saints, Shanle has totaled 397 tackles, six sacks, five forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams once called Shanle, “one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL”, a tribute to his versatility and durability throughout his nine year career.
Williams moved Shanle over to the strong side last pre-season after the emergence of young linebacker Jonathan Casillas. The move didn’t last long as Casillas injured his Achilles and was placed on injured reserve before the seasons start.
Shanle was moved back to weakside linebacker and the Saints used a platoon of linebackers — Danny Clark, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, and others — throughout the 2010 season.
Casillas will be returning to the Saints where it is expected he will once again become the teams starting weakside linebacker.
New Orleans drafted Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson in the third round of the draft this year, and the Saints envision Wilson becoming the teams starter on the strong side.
Wilson was the fastest linebacker at the Combine this year. Saints linebacker coach Joe Vitt has stated several times that Wilson possessed the most raw potential of any rookie he has ever coached.
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