Saints DE Jeff Charleston (Source: m.browsebiography.com)

Jeff Charleston's Return Could Mean Saints Are Done Chasing Matt Roth

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.

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Tags: Cleveland Browns Jeff Charleston Matt Roth Miami Dolphins New Orleans Saints NFL Rob Ryan

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