The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent defensive lineman Garrett Hartley/Paul Spicer.aspx">Paul Spicer. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.
"Paul has been a hard working, productive player throughout his career in Jacksonville. His addition will provide us some veteran depth in the defensive line," said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Spicer, 6-4, 295 pounds, played the past nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The nine-year NFL veteran has played in 117 career regular games and owns 63 starts and has totaled 349 career tackles, 28.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. He has also started all three postseason games that he has appeared in over his career and registered seven tackles and one sack.
Spicer, one of the Jaguars' team captains last season, registered a team-high 21.5 sacks from 2005-2008 and played last season under the tutelage of current Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams while with the Jaguars. Spicer broke into the NFL as a rookie free agent in 1998 as a member of Seattle Seahawks and also had a short stint with the Detroit Lions in 1999 before finding a home and regular playing time with the Jaguars in 2000. Spicer will be reunited in New Orleans with former Jacksonville teammates QB Mark Brunell and DE Bobby McCray, as well as Williams.
Spicer owned the distinction as one on the longest tenured Jaguars in team history with nine consecutive years of service before being released on the eve of free agency last month. Spicer was named to three consecutive *USA Today's *"All-Joe Teams" from 2005-2007, an honor bestowed annually to players who perform at a high level of play while often times being overlooked by the national media outlets. Spicer, a product of Saginaw Valley State, also spent time in 1998 as a member of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.
In 2008 Spicer played in all 16 games, making 10 starts, and registered 50 tackles (34 solo stops) and three-and-a-half sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble. His three-and-a-half sacks moved him into a tie for third place on Jacksonville's all-time sack list (28.5) with former LB Kevin Hardy (1996-2001). Spicer has displayed the versatility to play either defensive end positions as well as the ability to the interior defensive tackle spots.
Spicer is a native of Indianapolis and attended the College of DuPage for two seasons before transferring to Saginaw Valley State. As a senior at SVSU, Spicer racked up a school-record 21.5 sacks (a record that still stands). Off the field, Spicer is committed to many charitable causes, including work with mental health rehabilitation centers, as well as visiting schools to stress the importance of education and literacy programs.