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Saints sign ex-Cowboys, Giants LB Jaylon Smith

Jaylon Smith is headed to the NFC South.

New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen announced the signing of the veteran linebacker on Friday. In a corresponding move, New Orleans cut wide receiver Keke Coutee.

Smith, 28, will try to extend a career that once looked to be in serious danger following a significant knee injury on his final college play at Notre Dame. Despite that, Smith was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and later signed a long-term extension with the team before he was released in 2021.

Last season with the Giants, Smith spent time on the practice squad but ended up starting 11 regular-season games, making 88 tackles (three for losses), one sack and one fumble recovery. In 87 career games with the Cowboys, Giants and Packers, Smith has totaled 624 tackles, 11 sacks, six forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Previously, the Saints brought in free-agent LB Anthony Barr, who left town without a deal following his visit. Smith had previously visited the Raiders this offseason.

Allen suggested earlier in the week that the depth chart at linebacker appeared a bit thin with starter Demario Davis nursing a calf injury. Prior to signing Smith, the Saints were suddenly looking at 2022 fifth-round pick D’Marco Jackson atop the depth chart at off-ball linebacker with Davis out.

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