On Thursday afternoon, the New Orleans Saints inked Keenan Lewis, cornerback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to a five-year deal worth $26.3 million. Lewis is a New Orleans native and went to O. Perry Walker High School, as you already know. But the fact that he took significantly less money to come home tells me that this is personal to him.
It tells me that he wants to help remove the tarnish of the bounty sham and work on adding another Lombardi Trophy to his city's trophy case.
This move tells me that the Saints are serious about rebuilding a secondary that was just awful last year. I try to forget it, but, one way or another, it finds it's way back into the conversation. Kind of like how teams keep handing starting jobs to Reggie Bush on a silver platter, but that conversation is for another time.
The secondary was awful, yes, but much of that can be attributed to many of the players simply thinking a little too much instead of just reacting while playing under Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. Malcolm Jenkins, Patrick Robinson and Corey White can be saved and built around for the future. The 2012 season needs to be thrown out as far as development is concerned.
The Saints are also, reportedly, interested in Nnamdi Asomugha. If that were to occur, Saints fans could wave bye-bye to Jabari Greer. The simple truth is that there simply isn't enough money to go around, and Greer and his declining skills would be dead weight at that moment (both Greer and Asomugha have declined, but I'd take the latter who is already comfortable in this defense).
Lewis' interception numbers aren't going to blow you away, but no one in the league last year defended the pass as well as him, with 16 passes defended according to Pro Football Focus, despite being one of the most targeted players at his position. Opposing quarterback passer ratings were an average of 80.7, and they were completing only 52.7% of their passes against him.
He's also a big, physical corner, and that is needed with the type of receivers that reside in the NFC South. His addition will remind people of the Greer signing a lot. Let's just hope it comes with another Super Bowl victory for Lewis' hometown team.