The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with DB Justin Hardee on a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Hardee, 6-1, 200, has played in 46 regular season games and five postseason contests. Over the past three seasons, Hardee's 24 special teams tackles have led the club. He has also blocked a punt, caught a pass for a ten-yard gain and on defense recorded 15 solo tackles, a 77-yard interception return and two passes defensed. In 2019, Hardee recorded five special teams stops and added six solo defensive tackles.
Hardee was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois in 2017. After spending the 2017 preseason with Houston, he joined the Saints practice squad at the start of the regular season and was elevated to the active roster in Week Three.
The Cleveland, Ohio native was a five-year wide receiver at Illinois, where in his final season, he finished second on the team with 314 receiving yards on 25 grabs. Hardee departed Champaign with a bachelor's degree in communication and master's degrees in education and sport management.
Hardee is also one of the most active Saints in various community activities, often centered on outreach to youth and stressing education and reading. His Hardee Cares foundation facilitates programs for youth in New Orleans and Cleveland, as well as supporting sarcoidosis awareness, honoring his mother who passed away from the disease.