New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today that the club has agreed to terms with the following unrestricted free agents: CB Leigh Torrence, WR Lance Moore, LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, S Chris Reis, LB Scott Shanle, LT Jermon Bushrod, S Pierson Prioleau, LB Danny Clark, RB/KR Darren Sproles (most recently with SD-2010), FB Korey Hall (most recently with GB-2010) and LB Will Herring (most recently with SEA-2010). The team also agreed to terms with free agents DE Curtis Johnson and G Dan Gay.
Torrence, a five-year veteran, first joined the Saints when he was claimed off waivers from the Washington Redskins in 2008 and has played in 25 of his 60 career games with New Orleans. The 5-11, 179-pound cornerback played in 13 games in 2010, making 22 tackles, one sack, one interception and three pass defenses. Torrence was also a valuable asset on the Saints special teams units with 11 stops. The Stanford graduate has played in 60 career games and totaled 77 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception, seven pass defenses and 53 special teams tackles, having also played previously with the Atlanta Falcons.
Moore originally joined the Saints in the middle of the 2005 season and has established himself as a reliable and consistent threat in the New Orleans offense. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound University of Toledo product has recorded 192 career receptions for 2,156 yards (11.2 avg.) with 22 touchdowns, ranked eighth in club record books. Moore appeared in all 16 games in 2010 with one start and finished second on the Saints in receiving with 66 receptions for 763 yards (11.6 avg.) for a team-leading eight touchdowns. He also had 11 punt returns for an average of 10.2 yards, including a career-long 72-yard runback.
Dunbar, a three-year veteran linebacker, has appeared in 37 games with the Saints with 13 starts since joining the club as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2008. He's recorded 73 tackles (38 solo), one sack, five pass defenses, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Dunbar's also posted 32 special teams tackles. The 26-year-old appeared in 13 games with eight starts at strongside linebacker in 2010 and finished with 50 tackles (28 solo), one sack, two pass defenses, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two special teams stops.
Reis, 6-1, 215, first signed with the Saints in 2007 and has played in 46 games, making his greatest contributions on special teams, where he has notched 48 tackles – with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. On defense, he's made 22 tackles with a sack, an interception and a pass defense. He also appeared in two games in the 2009 postseason, making three special teams stops and had a big hand in the Super Bowl XLIV victory when he recovered the onside kick in the opening play of the second half. The Georgia Tech graduate played in two games in 2010, making three tackles and one special teams stop before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.
Since arriving in New Orleans in 2006, Shanle's been one of the Saints' top defenders. He turned in another solid season in 2010 as he started all 14 games he played in the regular season and opened one postseason contest as well from the weakside spot, posting 98 tackles, three pass defenses, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 74 games with the Saints, he's had 562 tackles, six sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries while rarely leaving the field. Initially a seventh-round pick out of Nebraska in 2003 by St. Louis, Shanle played six games for the Rams before ending the season in Dallas, where he played on both defense and special teams before a 2006 training camp trade sent him to the Saints. In his eight-year career, Shanle's posted 641 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Bushrod, a 6-2, 315-pound fifth-year player out of Towson, was a fourth-round draft choice of the club in 2007 (125th overall). He stepped into the starting lineup at left tackle in 2009, where he made the first 14 starts of his NFL career for the league's top-ranked offense, also opening all three postseason games. In 2010, Bushrod opened up all 16 regular season contests and one playoff game, as he appeared in every contest for the first time in his NFL career. Overall, Bushrod's appeared in 34 regular season contests, starting 30 and has opened all four postseason games he's appeared in.
Prioleau originally signed with the Saints as a free agent in 2009 and has led the Saints in special teams tackles both seasons with 21 stops each campaign, while serving in defensive nickel and dime packages. He was selected as one of five season-long team captains last season. He's appeared in 160 career regular season contests, with 50 starts in stints with five clubs. His career totals include 397 tackles, six sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and 172 stops on special teams.
In 2010, Clark played in 14 games with 10 starts at strongside linebacker and registered 59 tackles (32 solo) with one pass defense, a forced fumble and four special teams stops in his second stint with New Orleans, having first joined them in 2006. The University of Illinois product has played in 168 games with 103 starts since being a seventh-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000, forging an 11-year NFL career with a combination of dependability, knowledge and a playmaking skill set. He's recorded 629 tackles (448 solo), to go with seven sacks, nine forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 81 special teams stops.
Sproles is a 5-6, 190 pound all-purpose threat who has been one of the NFL's most dynamic players rushing, receiving and on kickoff and punt returns, garnering a total of 9,958 all-purpose yards. Since 2007, no NFL player has matched his 8,260 all-purpose yards. In his six-year NFL career with San Diego, who picked him in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, he's carried 249 times for 1,154 yards (4.6 avg.) with six touchdowns and recorded 146 receptions for 1,400 yards with 11 touchdowns. On special teams, Sproles has returned 258 kickoffs for 6,469 yards (25.1 avg.) with two touchdowns and returned 114 punts for 935 yards (8.2 avg.) with two scores. The 28-year old Olathe, Kansas native appeared in all 16 games for San Diego in 2010 with three starts and carried 50 times for 267 yards, had a career-high and team-best 59 receptions for 520 yards with two touchdowns, while returning 51 kickoffs for 1,257 yards (24.6 avg.) and 24 punts for 166 yards (6.9 avg.) for a total of 2,210 all-purpose yards. Sproles ranked third in the NFL in all-purpose yardage (2,210) and was ranked fifth among running backs in receptions.
The 6-0, 236-pound Hall was converted from linebacker to fullback upon joining the Green Bay Packers as a sixth-round draft pick in 2007 out of Boise State and has appeared in 48 games with 26 starts. He's recorded 21 receptions for 137 yards with one TD during his career, while serving as the blocking back for a Packers offensive attack that joined the Saints as the only two clubs to finish in the top 10 in offense for the past four seasons. Hall's also posted 52 career special teams tackles, including leading the Super Bowl XLV Champions with a career-best 15 stops on coverage units in 2010.
Herring, 6-3, 241 pounds, has been a consistent defender and special teams performer since joining the Seahawks in 2007 as a fifth-round draft pick out of Auburn. The four-year veteran has appeared in 54 games, starting 8 contests, and has totaled 75 tackles (60 solo), one sack, one interception, and 2 forced fumbles while adding 33 special teams tackles. In 2010, he appeared in 15 contests and finished with 26 tackles (22 solo), one sack, one interception, two pass defenses and one forced fumble, while adding ten special teams stops.
Johnson, 6-3, 254, was originally signed by Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent in 2008 out of Clark Atlanta and has appeared in ten games for the Colts and Dallas Cowboys and recorded five tackles (two solo), one sack and eight special teams stops. He spent most of the 2010 season on the St. Louis Rams practice squad, before being elevated to the active roster for the final two contests.
Gay, 6-5, 295, is a Lafayette native who prepped at St. Thomas More High School and started the final 34 games of his college career at Baylor at every position on the offensive line except for center from 2006-08. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in 2009, spent the final month of the season on the New York Jets practice squad and went to their training camp in 2010.