The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have signed unrestricted free agent defensive end Alex Okafor to a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Okafor (pronounced OH-kuh-for), a four-year NFL veteran, entered the league as a fourth round draft pick (103rd overall) of the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 out of Texas. He has appeared in 42 contests with 25 starts for the Cardinals, posting career totals of 100 tackles (53 solo), 13.5 sacks, one interception, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, three special teams stops and one coverage fumble recovery.
A 6-4, 260-pound native of Pflugerville, Texas, Okafor played in 15 games in 2016 and recorded 16 tackles (10 solo), 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two special teams stops and one coverage fumble recovery. In 2014, he enjoyed the most productive season of his career when he played in 13 games with 12 starts and posted 45 tackles (28 solo), eight sacks, one interception and three passes defensed.
As a four-year letterman at Texas (2009-12), Okafor played in 52 career games for the Longhorns with 33 starts and finished his college career with 150 tackles, 23 sacks, 34 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, four passes defensed and a blocked kick. As a senior in 2012, Okafor was a unanimous All-Big 12 first-team selection as a senior when he started 12 of 13 games and led the conference and finished tied for ninth in the nation with 12.5 sacks, including 4.5 in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, ranking second in the league with 16.5 tackles for loss and forcing four fumbles. Okafor was one of just four FBS performers to record at least four forced fumbles and 12 sacks.