New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today that restricted free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrovehas signed the qualifying offer the club had tendered to him and will return to New Orleans for the 2010 season.
Hargrove, a 6-3, 272-pound defensive lineman who can line up at end or tackle, signed with the Saints as a free agent last offseason and played in all 16 regular-season games, starting six of them. The five-year veteran out of Georgia Tech made 63 tackles (29 solo) in his inaugural season in New Orleans with five sacks, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
The 26-year-old Hargrove also played in all three of the Saints' postseason contests, making 15 tackles. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the Week Nine victory over Carolina that saw him make four tackles, force a fumble and recover two fumbles, scooping one of them up and running a yard into the end zone for a touchdown.
Hargrove was also voted by his teammates as the club's winner of the Ed Block Courage Award after coming back from a year-long suspension to be a significant contributor to the Super Bowl XLIV champions. For his career, he has played in 73 games – starting 25 of them – and made 255 tackles with 15½ sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered five.