Saints bolster LB depth and special teams with latest signing

A special teams mainstay in Washington, Khaleke Hudson enjoyed his biggest opportunity on defense last season. This will lead to another opportunity.

Khaleke Hudson. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With the Commanders retooling in Dan Quinn‘s first offseason — one that has brought many of the new HC’s former charges to Washington — Hudson will leave for a chance with the Saints. New Orleans is adding the veteran linebacker on a one-year deal, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo reports.

This agreement comes not long after Hudson visited the Steelers. It is not known if the Steelers — who have another ex-Washington linebacker, Cole Holcomb, on their payroll — extended an offer, but Hudson will end up in the NFC South. The Saints are adding a veteran special-teamer and a player who logged eight starts in 2023.

Hudson, 26, is a Michigan alum who started just four games during his first three seasons. The former fifth-round pick played at least 77% of Washington’s ST snaps in each of those years but moved into the starting lineup in the Ron Rivera–Jack Del Rio tandem’s final season. Although this opportunity came for a team careening into last place defensively, Hudson made 74 tackles (five for loss), recorded a sack and broke up two passes.

Pro Football Focus slotted Hudson 51st overall at the position, a mid-pack placement. Following Jamin Davis‘ season-ending injury, Hudson started the Commanders’ final five games, closing with a three-TFL showing in Week 18.

The Saints gave ageless starter Demario Davis another extension last month, and they also added four-year Chiefs starter Willie Gay. With Pete Werner going into a contract year, it would seem Hudson has a backup ceiling as a Saint barring injury. But his run of ST work stands to bolster New Orleans’ third-phase options ahead of Dennis Allen‘s third season in charge.

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