The Saints had one of the best defensive line rotations last year, consistently cycling eight or nine players through snaps. Late in the season, they lost both Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport to injury. After that, they took to the free agent market and signed former Bucs DE Noah Spence.
Unfortunately for Spence, he did not find his way on the field last year, but now he will get another chance as the Saints have agreed to terms to bring him back to the Big Easy. The details of the contract have not yet been announced.
Spence spent the early portion of 2019 as a rotational piece for Washington where he appeared in only seven games notching a sack and three total tackles. He was released in November and added to the Saints roster less than a month later.
The Saints offseason has had a theme. Familiarity. The majority signings have either been an in-house free agent or a player with ties to the club like Malcolm Jenkins and Michael Burton. Eve Emmanuel Sanders has been connected to the team several times over the last few seasons. Spence fits right into that criteria.
While Spence underwhelmed as a starter in Tampa Bay, battling injuries, he is not a bd piece to have within the rotation. On his career he has only 7.5 sacks and 37 combines tackles, three for a loss. But every now and then, he flashed the speed off the edge that was so exciting coming out of college.
Watch Noah Spence on the right edge! Haven’t seen this type of speed in quite some time!— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 30, 2019
Get this man more snaps! pic.twitter.com/vP6ExLJdoc
It is unlikely that Spence will see a ton of playing time with the skill the Saints are set to field on the defensive line, but having the pass rusher available for depth is far from a bad idea. For Spence, returning to New Orleans makes sense. He goes from getting trained up by former teammate Jason Pierre-Paul to continuing to work with the likes of Cam Jordan.