The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms with defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui on a two-year deal, general manager Mickey Loomis announced Thursday.
The #Saints have agreed to terms with DT Isaako Aaitui on a 2-year contract— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 16, 2013
By the way, that's pronounced: e-saw-AH-co ah-ah-2-e. Whew! I'll bet somewhere right now Jerry Romig and Jim Henderson are both hoping this guy doesn't actually make the team this season.
Here's a little more on the big man from Pago Pago, the capital of American Somoa.
6-foot-4, 315 pounds, originally joined the practice squad of the Miami Dolphins midseason in 2011, spending the 2012 preseason with both the Dolphins and the New York Jets. The Pago Pago native was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at UNLV, where as a senior in 2010, he was a third-team all-Mountain West Conference selection, appearing in 13 games with 12 starts and ranking second on the Rebels with five tackles for a loss.
If you are a fan of the show Hard Knocks, you might remember Aaitui in the final episode last season when he was cut by the Dolphins, who were hoping he would clear waivers so they could add him to their practice squad, but was quickly claimed by the Jets instead.
Unfortunately, he was waived by the Jets, without pay, after tearing his ACL and MCL during his first practice with the team. You can't make this stuff up.
That's a serious injury; the health of his knee will most certainly be an determining factor for his future success.
And in case you were wondering where Pago Pago is located, here's a quick map so you can get some perspective.
We were just talking about the future of the Saints defensive line after learning Akiem Hicks would be moving to defensive end. Does that addition of Aaitui change the discussion?