2016 NFL free agency: 10 players the New Orleans Saints should target

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Oct 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) makes a catch for a touchdown over Carolina Panthers cornerback Melvin White (23) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals and the Panthers tie in overtime 37-37. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) makes a catch for a touchdown over Carolina Panthers cornerback Melvin White (23) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals and the Panthers tie in overtime 37-37. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Robert Ayers
Nov 15, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Robert Ayers (91) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and causes a fumble during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. New England Patriots defeat the New York Giants 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim O /

Name: Robert Ayers
Position: DE
Age next season: 31
2015 Team: New York Giants
2015 Cap hit: $2,437,500

Ayers hasn’t really lived up to the hype that surrounded him prior to the 2009 NFL Draft.  The Giants selected him out of Tennessee at No. 18 overall, and in seven seasons, he has totaled just 26.5 sacks.  Injuries have played a big role.

But in 2015, Ayers finally broke out of his cage, tallying 9.5 sacks, 41 combined tackles, four passes defended and two forced fumbles in 12 games.  Yes, he missed four games with a hamstring injury.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive end would be an excellent fit opposite Cam Jordan.  But the New Orleans Saints would have to decide if Ayers, whose past is decorated with injuries (nothing major), is worth the risk.

New Orleans has a history of missing on injury-prone players in the free agent market.  But if Ayers is over all of the setbacks, he could become a true difference maker in the trenches.  He has developed into both a solid run stopper and disruptive pass rusher.

Next: Another weapon for Brees

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