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James Laurinaitis, New Orleans Saints agree to deal

The Saints are starting to bring in reinforcements for their 32nd-ranked defense.

New Orleans has agreed to terms with former Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis on a new contract, NFL Media's Rand Getlin reported Wednesday, via a source familiar with the deal.

Although ex-coordinator Rob Ryan ran a 3-4 defense, Dennis Allen began shifting to a 4-3 alignment upon assuming control of the defense last November.

Stephone Anthony showed promise in the middle as a rookie, which would presumably push Laurinaitis to the strong side in New Orleans after seven years and 112 starts at middle linebacker in St. Louis.

Once viewed as a borderline Pro Bowl talent, Laurinaitis' play has slipped the past two seasons. The 29 year old has recorded at least 100 tackles in every NFL season, but has been a liability against the run and rarely forces turnovers.

If the Saints are going to improve a defense that earned the worst grade ever recorded by the metrics site Football Outsiders, they're going to need a lot more than Laurinaitis.

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