November 25, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Calgary Stampeders slotback Nik Lewis (82) tries to break a tackle from Toronto Argonauts linebacker Marcus Ball (6) at the Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated Calgary 35-22. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
In case you missed it, the New Orleans Saints announced yesterday that the team signed another free agent to the roster.
Marcus Ball, who played the past two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts, agreed to a three-year contract with the team on Tuesday.
Ball, who will turn 27 in July, played safety for the past two seasons for the Argonauts after graduating from the University of Memphis in 2011. In those two seasons with the Argonauts, Ball finished with 142 tackles, seven sacks, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns.
Coming out of college, Ball was the #24 rated free safety prospect out of 83 players.
This is no random signing, as Ball is 6’1″, 209 pounds. He was essentially the ‘Roman Harper’ at Toronto, as he was known for his hybrid abilities as a safety and linebacker, and coincidentally his size is almost identical to Harper’s (6’1″-200lbs). Surely the Saints scouting team was looking for someone to fit the bill for Ryan’s defense.
The Saints struck gold last time they brought in some talent from the CFL with defensive end Tom Johnson, who the team opted to pass on during free agency despite having the advantage of a restricted free agent tag.
The team also had signed WR/KR Chris Williams to their practice squad, but Williams was signed away by the Chicago Bears during the regular season. The team previously made another CFL move this off-season, signing cornerback Derrius Brooks of the Calgary Stampeders to a reserve/future contract back in January.
Ball could be an extremely appetizing toy for Rob Ryan’s defense in 2014.