The New Orleans Saints reached an agreement with backup defensive end Jeff Charleston yesterday, which will keep him with the team for a fourth consecutive season after joining through free agency in 2008.
Since coming to New Orleans Charleston has primarily been a core special teams contributor, but has continued to develop and improve his play every season with the Saints.
As a backup defensive end he has registered 54 tackles, six sacks, two pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
Last season, having his best season as a pro, Charleston notched three sacks while making an appearance in all sixteen regular season games.
Ex-Browns free agent defensive end/outside linebacker Matt Roth recently had been on the Saints radar.
He’s played as an outside linebacker for the last three years between the Miami Dolphins and the Browns in a 3-4 scheme, last season making 85 tackles and 3.5 sacks in Rob Ryan’s defense.
Roth would certainly be a great pick up, but his desire and willingness to stick his hand in the ground and play in a 4-3 defense may not be very high after spending so many year standing up as a rush outside linebacker.
Charleston’s re-signing nearly guarantees that the Saints have moved on from Roth. New Orleans has seven defensive ends now on the roster, including Charleston, and it’s a very deep group.
Roth may still find a new team that runs the 4-3, as the Denver Broncos are said to be very interested in his services. New head coach Jon Fox is currently transitioning the defense from a 3-4, and the need for good defensive linemen is paramount.
The Arizona Cardinals are also interested and are a better fit for Roth as an outside linebacker. Last season Arizona was caught in more 4-3 alignments towards the end of the year, but they will remain a predominately 3-4 defense.