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Laurinaitis Reportedly Signing with Saints
Wednesday, March 16
Laurinaitis left a meeting with the Saints without a deal on March 1, according to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett, who added "there still appears to be mutual interest."
Laurinaitis to Meet with Multiple Teams
Saturday, March 12
Laurinitis' father, Joe Laurinaitis, tweeted that the linebacker planned to meet with the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants.
Laurinaitis to Meet with Falcons
Sunday, March 6
ESPN's Adam Schefter, citing a source, reported Laurinaitis "is scheduled to visit [the] Falcons on Monday and Tuesday."
Laurinaitis Has Declined but Still Has Value
After seven years with the Rams organization, Los Angeles surprisingly cut Laurinaitis alongside tight end Jared Cook and defensive end Chris Long.
Laurinaitis, a second-round selection by the Rams in 2009, left as the franchise's all-time leader in solo tackles with 653. His numbers have experienced a dip over the past three seasons, but he recorded over 100 total tackles in each of his first seven years.
He was a well-respected presence among the Rams linebackers, and he became a leader on the team. The leadership translated onto the field thanks to his physical, athletic play, as the Rams showed:
Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL
#Respect ✊ @JLaurinaitis55 https://t.co/cpyO5dooGn2015-9-29 03:20:15
He's the kind of linebacker the Saints are desperate for. New Orleans had the 31st-ranked defense in the league last season, allowing more than 410 yards per game. Only the New York Giants had a worse defense (420).
There was a lack of consistency at linebacker in New Orleans, as eight players appeared at the position in 2015 with little success. It has one solid piece at the position in 23-year-old Stephone Anthony, who led the team in total tackles (112) in his rookie season.
The Saints did restructure the deal of Dannell Ellerbe, who was plagued by injuries last season, for a return. But New Orleans released David Hawthorne and Ramon Humber, two linebackers who started a combined nine games in 2015.
Laurinaitis could provide the Saints defense with a true linebacker who has had plenty of success in the league. He'd anchor the unit and help the development of Anthony, who showed in his rookie year that he's capable of having a successful NFL career.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.