NEW ORLEANS — The Saints have signed safety Jim Leonhard to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday, beefing up a secondary that some viewed as a weak spot in 2012.
Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
The veteran safety has played for four teams in eight seasons, including this past year at Denver. In 110 games, he has started 61 and amassed 382 tackles, eight interceptions, and two forced fumbles and fumble recoveries each.
On the surface, it would appear to be a move that could call into question Roman Harper’s status. However, Leonhard’s output has decreased in each of the past two seasons, though both seasons came after he tore his patellar tendon near the end of the 2011 season.
Though he saw action in all 17 games this past season, he played sparingly, getting only 289 of 1,190 plays with the Broncos. On those plays, however, quarterbacks threw his way only seven times, completing five passes, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
He finished with two interceptions in 2012, or one fewer than the Saints’ starting safeties combined for.
Leonhard’s best seasons came in 2008 and 2009 with the Ravens and Jets, respectively.
In ’08, he started 13 of 16 games, finishing with 69 tackles, six passes defensed and an interception he returned for a touchdown. A year later, he started all 16 for the Jets and finished with a career-high 76 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception.