Neither Shaun Rogers or Aubrayo Franklin are expected back with the team for the 2012 season.
That leaves the Saints with Sedrick Ellis, Tom Johnson, Mitch King, Swanson Miller, and the recently signed Brodrick Bunkley currently on the roster.
Bunkley, considered among the best 4-3 run stuffing defensive tackles in the league, is a dramatic upgrade over either Rogers or Franklin.
From there however things begin to drop off after Sedrick Ellis in terms of actual starting experience in the NFL.
Tom Johnson was signed by the Saints last year out of the CFL.
He came on strong in the preseason before a calf injury, appearing in 13 games with 15 tackles, 1 sack, and a forced fumble for the team in 2011.
Swanson Miller and Mitch King are mere journey men, who may not even make the final roster.
Ayodele could fit into the Saints rotation and in heavy formations to stuff the run. He’s familiar with the team, although not the new defense Steve Spagnuolo will install.
You can’t discount the fact either that starter Sedrick Ellis enjoyed his best season as pro in 2010 when he recorded 30 tackles and 6 sacks along side Ayodele.
Ayodele spent three season with the Saints, making 90 tackles and six sacks.