NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The NFL Free Agency period has officially started. The Saints have made several upgrades to the offensive line, defensive line and linebacker positions.
The Saints signed Carolina linebacker AJ Klein to a three-year contract.
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley signed a four-year contract extension. Fairley came on strong late in the year for a defense that struggled throughout the season.
New Orleans signed former Detroit Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford to a four-year, $34 million contract.
The signing of former Carolina wide receiver Ted Ginn could signal a trade of Brandin Cooks, possibly to New England for defensive back Malcolm Butler.
The team has also terminated the contract of safety Jairus Byrd.
Klein has played four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Last year the linebacker finished with 31 tackles, two forced fumbles and one sack for the Panthers. Klein has played behind Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Keuchly.
Former Saints offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, who has been a mentor to Larry Warford, sent out congratulations to the newest Saints guard.
Warford played four years for the Lions, starting 57 games. The former Kentucky Wildcat is known for his size, strength and foot quickness. He should be a great addition to the line, playing next to Pro Bowl center Max Unger.
Fairley finished the 2016 season with 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Saints.