The New Orleans Saints have re-signed two restricted free agents, safety Roman Harperand running back Pierre Thomas, Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Tuesday.
Harper, a 6-1, 200-pound four year veteran, was originally selected by the Saints in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He has started all 52 regular season games he has appeared in at strong safety, recording 361 tackles (246 solo), 6.5 sacks, three interceptions and six forced fumbles.
The University of Alabama graduate finished second on the team in 2009 with a career-high 127 tackles (87 solo), 1.5 sacks, seven pass defenses, two forced fumbles and five special teams tackles as he was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. He added 17 tackles, two pass defenses and one forced fumble in the postseason.
Thomas, a 5-11, 215-pound three-year veteran, was originally signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2007. In 41 games over three seasons with 12 starts, the University of Illinois product has carried 328 times for 1,670 yards with 16 touchdowns, ranking third in club record books averaging 5.1 yards per carry. As a threat out of the backfield, he's added 87 receptions for 737 yards (8.5 avg.) and six touchdowns.
In his most extensive role to date in 2009, Thomas enjoyed his most productive season. He appeared in 14 games with six starts and led the team in rushing for the second straight season with 147 carries for 793 yards (5.4 avg.) with six touchdowns, also adding 39 catches for 302 yards (7.7 avg.) and two TDs for a team-leading 1,095 total yards from scrimmage. In the postseason, Thomas led the Saints in rushing with 36 carries for 143 yards (4.0 avg.) with one touchdown to go with 12 receptions for 111 yards and two TDs.
The club also waived/injured CB Greg Fassittand WR Roy Hall.* *