Saints sign ex-Cards defensive tackle Clancy to 3-year deal
By Len Pasquarelli
Updated: June 7, 2007, 7:35 PM ET
Wasting little time in adding a top-notch veteran who only became available two days ago, the New Orleans Saints on Thursday evening beefed up their depth at defensive tackle by signing free agent Kendrick Clancy to a three-year contract. Financial details of the deal were not immediately available. Clancy was scheduled to earn base salaries of $1.5 million for this season, $1.5 million for 2008 and $1.6 million in 2009 under his contract with the Arizona Cardinals, which was terminated on Tuesday.
The Cardinals released Clancy after he declined to accept a pay cut.
Clancy, 28, will provide the Saints quality depth and a solid rotational player behind starting tackles Hollis Thomas and Brian Young. He joins Antwan Lake and Rodney Leisle in the New Orleans backup tackle pool, but will be the senior most member of the group, and he figures to command considerable playing time.
"A player of his experience is a welcome addition to our club," said Saints' general manager Mickey Loomis.
New Orleans acted quickly in contacting Clancy, who drew interest from several teams after his release, and struck a fast agreement with him.
The seven-year veteran was a victim in part of the Cardinals' new emphasis on a 3-4 defense, a scheme the team will increasingly incorporate into its mix in 2007. Although he weighs 305 pounds, the Arizona coaches wanted a bigger interior defender to play nose tackle in the 3-4, and it is believed that second-year veteran Gabe Watson or highly regarded rookie Alan Branch, a second-round choice in the 2007 draft, will vie for the starting spot.
Clancy started 11 games for Arizona in 2006, his first season with the team. Signed as a free agent, he registered 37 tackles and one sack.
For his career, Clancy has 126 tackles and three sacks in 96 appearances with Pittsburgh (2000-2004), the New York Giants (2005) and Arizona (2006). His resume includes 30 starts, with 26 of those over the past two seasons. The former University of Mississippi standout entered the league as a third-round pick with Pittsburgh in 2000.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.