McKenzie out as Saints make more off season moves

NEW ORLEANS – The Saints are tweaking their roster and gearing up for Organized Team Activity’s which begin next week. There will be a lot of new faces when players begin to work out for the first time this off season.

Several veteran starting players are no longer with the team as the Saints Front Office continues to overhaul their roster. Starting Safety Josh Bullocks is now with the Chicago Bears, Deuce McAllister is no longer with the team and last week the Saints cut arguably the best Corner Back in Team History in Mike McKenzie.

“Decisions such as these are the hardest to make in this business,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis in a press release. “Mike has been a standout performer for the Saints both on and off the field during his career with the Saints. We wish him well in his future and thank him for all of his efforts representing the Saints.”

McKenzie, played five seasons with the Saints after being acquired from the Green Bay Packers on October 4, 2004. McKenzie is coming off back to back season ending injuries with the team and was rehabbing trying to get ready for Training Camp.

The second biggest move last week by the Saints was when they signed longtime successful Safety Darren Sharper. Sharper currently leads all active NFL players in interceptions with 54 and has been selected to four Pro Bowls during his 12-year NFL career. 

The veteran defender played eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers after being selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft with the 60th overall selection. He moved to the Minnesota Vikings as an unrestricted free agent in 2005, where he has spent the past four seasons.

Sharper has proven to be a durable player in the NFL as he started all 17 games with the Minnesota Vikings last season and help lead his team to the NFC North Title and a playoff appearance again the Philadelphia Eagles. 

In other moves the Saints inked veteran Tight End Darnell Dinkins.  Dinkins was brought in as a move for depth at the position as Billy Miller, Mark Campbell and Jeremey Shockey have all made their presence felt in the Saints #1 Offense.

And the Saints also signed a veteran Center in Nick Leckey. Leckey spent last season in St. Louis with the Rams after being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals I the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

The Saints will hit the practice field next week for a series of team activity’s and then get set for the 2009 NFL Draft at the end of April. The Saints own the 14th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft plus three other selections.

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