Saints add another free agent linebacker to their defense that needs to improve

The New Orleans Saints recently made another free agency acquisition, signing a veteran linebacker to help improve the defense.
Washington Commanders v Cleveland Browns
Washington Commanders v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Free agency for the New Orleans Saints started with the signing of linebacker Willie Gay. The Saints returned to the same position on Thursday, signing veteran linebacker Khaleke Hudson. Hudson, who spent the last four years with the Washington Commanders, is coming to New Orleans on a one-year deal.

Drafted out of Michigan in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Hudson was a key special teams player and depth linebacker for Washington during his four seasons. However, last season, he emerged as a starter, starting eight of the 17 games he played in. He finished the year with 74 total tackeles, five for a loss, and a sack. He also recorded the most tackles over the last four weeks of the season.

Saints sign linebacker Khaleke Hudson

Hudson will now reunite with his draft mate Chase Young, who was Washington’s first pick in the 2020 Draft. Young was signed by the Saints earlier in the offseason, with hopes that he could improve the team’s pass rush. Hudson will be added to a talented linebacker room that needs to improve against the run and the pass.

In 2023, the Saints allowed 119.9 rushing yards per game— 22nd in the NFL. Hopefully, the additions of Chase Young and the linebackers will help change that. With Pro Bowler Demario Davis certainly locked into his starting spot, Willie Gay and Khaleke Hudson will battle with Pete Werner for the other starting job. It’s safe to assume that all four linebackers will get snaps.

As Hudson gets familiar with New Orleans and the Saints, this won’t be Saints fans first introduction to him. Back in 2021, in a game against New Orleans, Hudson delivered a massive hit on Alvin Kamara, knocking the star running back off his feet on a punt return. Hudson will now try to deliver those kind of hits for the Saints.