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New Orleans Saints News

News » Saints add experience to back up on lines

Saints add experience to back up on lines

Saints add experience to back up on lines
The Saints added depth to both of their lines Tuesday, agreeing to one-year contracts with defensive lineman Paul Spicer and center Nick Leckey. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Both veterans will be penciled in as backups, but both have plenty of starting experience. Spicer, 33, has started 63 games in his 10-year career, spent mostly with Jacksonville. Leckey, 27, has started 32 games in five years with St. Louis and Arizona.

Spicer, who can play end and tackle, will come in particularly handy if starting ends Will Smith and Charles Grant have to serve four-game suspensions at the start of the season. Their appeal will be heard before a federal judge this summer.

Spicer (6 feet 4, 295 pounds) has remained healthy and productive as he's gotten older. He had 21 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles in the past four seasons.

He played under new Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last season in Jacksonville and had 3 1/2 sacks and one forced fumble. The addition of rookie ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, though, cut into his playing time and ultimately made him expendable.

Spicer had to fight his way into the NFL. He began his career as an undrafted free agent in Seattle but didn't make the roster. He spent time in the Canadian Football League and one season with Detroit, mostly on the practice squad, before Jacksonville signed him and allocated him to NFL Europe.

With Spicer in the fold, the Saints could release one of their veteran tackles -- Brian Young, who has battled several health issues over the past year, or Hollis Thomas.

"Paul has been a hard-working, productive player throughout his career in Jacksonville," Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. "His addition will provide us some veteran depth in the defensive line."

Spicer, who is serving as a player representative at the NFL Players Association meetings in Hawaii, could not be reached for comment.

Leckey, 6-3, started the first 10 games for St. Louis last season before ending the season on injured reserve with a broken foot. He became expendable when the Rams signed top free agent center Jason Brown.

The Saints signed Leckey to back up starting center Jonathan Goodwin. He'll replace veteran Matt Lehr, who is an unrestricted free agent.

"I'm excited to be a part of a great offense and be part of a great team, and I love the city too," said Leckey, who cemented his decision Tuesday after wrapping up his first free-agent visit to New Orleans.

He had also spent time here preparing for the pre-draft combine in 2004.

"I got real excited talking to (Coach Sean Payton, offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and strength and conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple)," said Leckey, who also visited Cleveland. "I was excited to hear how tight of an offensive line we have. I'm excited to get going. I feel like everything starts up front on the offensive line."

The Saints have filled almost every need on the roster now that they've signed Spicer, Leckey and kickoff returner Courtney Roby this week.

The most glaring hole remains at free safety, where they appear to have zeroed in on veteran free agent Darren Sharper as their top candidate. But Payton and Loomis indicated this week that if they can't work out a deal with Sharper, they can still find a fit in the draft.

BUSH TO HOST CAMP: Saints tailback Reggie Bush is starting a summer Football camp for children ages 7-14. The camp is scheduled for May 16-17 at Tulane from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

The camp will emphasize the basic fundamentals of Football. Bush will be joined by top area prep coaches, among other instructors, at Tulane's Westfeldt Field.

For more information and to register, visit www.reggiebushcamp.com or call 513.793.2267.

. . . . . . .

Mike Triplett can be reached at mtriplett@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3405.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 18, 2009

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Trey Darilek Name: Trey Darilek
Position: OL
Age: 27
Experience: 4 years
College: UTEP
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