NEW ORLEANS — The Saints beefed up their secondary to begin free agency.
Now they’ve added their key target at outside linebacker.
The Saints announced that linebacker Victor Butler agreed to terms with New Orleans on a two-year contract, adding an athletic player who has shown he can be an impact player in four seasons.
Butler (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) made visits to Philadelphia and Cleveland along with the New Orleans during free agency.
But he settled on familiarity and will be able to help new Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, whom he played for in Dallas for two seasons, install the new defense in New Orleans.
The 25-year-old is expected to have a big impact on the Saints defense, giving the team an athletic presence on the outside.
In four years with the Cowboys, Butler has 89 tackles and 11 sacks. This past season he finished with a career-best 25 tackles and three sacks along with three passes defensed. He also has three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Butler was the seventh-best 3-4 outside linebacker for those playing at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps this past season.
He can also help out on special teams if needed, registering 40 tackles and one forced fumble in career.
Butler played at Oregon State, where he was a teammate with cornerback Keenan Lewis, whom the Saints picked up early in free agency. The move to add Lewis helped the Saints add much-needed big play talent at cornerback.
The move should allow New Orleans to focus on defensive tackle in the draft along with adding depth at linebacker.