Saints add much-needed LB depth with free agent signing

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints continue to add to their roster as they added outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo on a one-year deal.

As first reported by Adam Schefter, the New Orleans Saints have signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo to a one year deal. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

An additional move will have to be made as the Saints have already filled their 90-man roster capacity.

Chickillo is coming off a 2019 campaign in which he appeared in 11 games, though most were on special teams. In fact, he was on special teams on over 50% of the plays last year for the Steelers, compared to just 13% on defense.

The five-year veteran was originally chosen in the 6th round back in 2015 out of the University of Miami. During his tenure with the Steelers, Chickillo has recorded 7.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 3 fumble recoveries, and 97 total tackles. He has started just 9 games on defense during this time.

It will be interesting to see the move the Saints make to free up a roster spot for him.

It was reported that the Saints had nearly $10 million dollars in cap space left, so seeing the financial terms of this deal will dictate what other potential moves the Saints will be able to make.

This immediately looks to be a boost on special teams as the 27-year-old Chickillo has spent most of his playing career in that role. If ever called upon to play defensive snaps, Chickillo is best suited as an outside linebacker/edge rusher so getting to the quarterback is his forte.

We’ll have to see if he can earn a roster spot for the upcoming season.

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The linebacking depth was helped by the addition of Zach Baun, but it still seems like one of the weaker units. Their depth was tested at linebacker last season, and they’re trying to make sure that issue doesn’t repeat itself in 2020.