Marcus Davenport, Saints Agree to 4-Year Rookie Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2018

New Orleans Saints draftee defensive end Marcus Davenport on air with SiriusXM host Pat Kirwan Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Brandon Wade/AP Images for SiriusXM)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints and first-round pick Marcus Davenport agreed to a rookie contract, the team announced Thursday.

According to Spotrac, Davenport will make a little more than $13.7 million over four years and count for $2.4 million against the salary cap in 2018.

Davenport was the No. 14 overall pick in April's draft. The UTSA product rose up draft boards despite playing at a small college because of his elite production and physical tools. Listed at 6'6" and 264 pounds, Davenport will be one of the tallest defensive ends in football next season.

The Saints will hold a fifth-year option in his contract, which is guaranteed for four years. They will have to exercise that option before his fourth season, though it's only guaranteed for injury. New Orleans will also have to hope he pans out because the team traded up to grab him. 

Davenport recorded 55 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 2017, earning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors.

"We're excited obviously," Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters. "He was a player we had targeted and spent some time with, quite a bit of time with. He fits a must position well. We see him over the right defensive end position. Compensation was fair."

The Saints are looking for Davenport to bolster their rising young defense, which helped lead them to an NFC South crown in 2017. After years of struggling to put a competent defense on the field to complement Drew Brees and the offense, New Orleans has one of football's most well-rounded teams.

If Davenport helps shore up the front seven, the trade will be draft picks well spent. 

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