The New Orleans Saints are signing defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. per The Advocate’s Nick Underhill (source) to a two-year $5 million contract. The move comes after meeting with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and losing Alex Okafor to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, Edwards spent the last season with the New York Giants as a rotational player. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, Edwards has the ability to line up on the inside or on the edge.
Playing in 45 career games Edwards has racked up 85 tackles, 10 of which went for a loss, 7.5 sacks and 20 QB hits. In his lone season with the Giants, he become a rotational player, logging only 232 snaps as compared to the 475 he saw in his final season in Oakland.
The signing should be seen as a depth piece along the line, as Sheldon Rankins recovers from a torn achilles and David Onyemata faces a possible suspension.
While the deal could mean that the meeting with Ansah didn’t go as well as the team hoped, this shouldn’t close the door on something being worked out in the future. Ansah plays primarily on the edge, where the Saints still need depth with only Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, and Trey Hendrickson filling the position after Okafor left for Kansas City.