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saint5221 07-25-2003 02:08 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT

Friday, July 25
Ford will sign two-year deal
By Len Pasquarelli
Demonstrating once again that you can never have enough experienced defensive linemen, the New Orleans Saints on Friday added unrestricted free-agent tackle Henry Ford to further deepen their upfront inventory, has confirmed.

One of the few quality defensive linemen still remaining in a pick-over free agent pool, Ford will sign a two-year contract, and should strengthen the Saints' line rotation. It was, in fact, a bit curious that Ford, a nine-year veteran, had remained unemployed until now.

General manager Mickey Loomis emphasized to that the acquisition of Ford does not reflect dissatisfaction with veteran Grady Jackson, who made himself scarce at the club's offseason conditioning program, and reported overweight to mini-camp.

"One has nothing to do with the other," Loomis said. "(Ford) is just a really good football player and you can never have enough of those big guys around."

There have been rumors of late that Jackson is considering retirement. His representatives have denied that is the case.

Ford will join a defensive tackle contingent that includes Jackson, Kenny Smith, Martin Chase and first-round draft choice Jonathan Sullivan, among others. Sullivan, the sixth overall player selected in April, remains unsigned.

The Saints did reach contract agreement with their second-round pick, offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb, on Friday morning. The former University of Georgia star will sign a four-year contract that includes a signing bonus of $1.845 million and standard league minimum base salaries.

The addition of Ford, who can also move out and play end in some situations, provides the Saints much flexibility. It also gives the team some insurance in the event Jackson does not report to camp or Sullivan remains unsigned for a prolonged period.

Ford, 31, was a first-round choice of the then-Houston Oilers in 1994, and spent his entire previous career with the Houston/Tennessee franchise.

He had spoken with the Titans about the possibility of returning and also had discussions with the Dallas Cowboys.

LordOfEntropy 07-25-2003 02:11 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
Don\'t know much about him, other than his name. Anyone?

saint5221 07-25-2003 02:13 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
I had not heard of him here is the Sporting News\' scouting report on him.

Height: 6-3
Weight: 295
DOB: 10/30/71
Position: DT
TWR grade: 6.5


Strengths: Does a good job using his hands to shed blockers. Is a tough and physical player. Does a good job getting off blocks quickly and wrapping up the ball carrier. Has good double moves as a pass rusher.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size for an interior player and speed for an edge rusher. Does not show the ability to get upfield quickly and is not capable of shooting the gap and making plays behind the line. Does not show the ability to get his hands up in the passing lanes.

Bottom line: Ford is a much better fit as a reserve than a starter, especially on the inside, where he lacks ideal size and power. -- The War Room

BlackandBlue 07-25-2003 02:16 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
This is what Pasquarelli had to say:

Henry Ford, defensive lineman ($655,000): You can never have enough defensive line depth and the former Tennessee Titans starter can play inside or outside. There seemed to be a few times this spring when he was close to an agreement but, for whatever reason, nothing was consummated. Never noted as having a big motor and, frankly, has been an underachiever much of his career. But the former first-rounder (1994) can provide some team 15-20 snaps in a defensive line rotation.

saint5221 07-25-2003 02:58 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
Gator surely you don\'t mean to suggest the Saints front office would be missleading with the media and fans. LOL If someone representing the Saints says something is white,I\'m laying money on black.

BlackandBlue 07-25-2003 03:06 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT

Even if they didn\'t see this coming a good manager knows what his employees are doing no matter what.
My only problem with that is how do you keep tabs on someone who does not answer their phone. It\'s been documented several times over that they were unable to reach him over his cell phone thorughout the offseason. Football player is one of the very few jobs in the world that, just because you don\'t show up for work, doesn\'t necessarily mean you are fired.

BillyCarpenter1 07-25-2003 03:32 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
Why everyone wants to make everything out to be a conspiracy I have no idea. The Saints already said that Kenny Smith was going to be the starter anyway. Besides, who were they going to sign?

About the Saints keeping tabs on players in the off season. I\'ll have to agree partly with Gator on this one. I know what B&B is saying, but the NFL is a full time job now. Players are required to attend off season conditioning. All NFL clubs keep tabs on all of their players now. They knew the situation on Grady a long time ago, just like we did. They obviously felt comfortable with the starters and Ford is just an insurance policy. Also, I\'m sure they will be watching for players that are cut in camp.

tweeky 07-25-2003 07:50 PM

Saints sign free Agent DT
Have you driven a Ford Lately?

SEE YA GRAVY!!!! The turk wants to see ya, bring your playbook!

I can sense the despair of every chicken wing-joint in N\'awlins\'.

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