Photos of new Saints linebacker A.J. Klein.
Having the 27th ranked defense last season, the New Orleans Saints needed to add depth to the defensive roster for 2017. Giving up the sixth most yards a game and second most points a game, Coach Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis knew that making changes was necessary for the defense to improve.
Although the Saints did not make any splashy free agent signings, they added depth by signing two quality players in linebackers A.J. Klein and Manti Te'o. Both were drafted in 2013, Te'o by the Chargers and Klein by the Panthers.
Klein, in his fifth season out of Iowa State, has played in 60 games and has recorded 146 combined tackles and five forced fumbles. Te'o, also in his fifth season has had a bit more trouble staying on the field. The former standout player at Notre Dame has played in 38 games but has recorded 222 combined tackles and nine passes defensed.
Payton spoke highly of Klein as he said "he was someone that you could tell had really good command of what he was doing."
"He has good versatility … has good leadership traits, and I think he is smart."
Te'o told the media after an OTA practice, "As long as I stay healthy, I'll be able to do what I need to do to help this team win."
Photos of new Saints linebacker Manti Te'o.