Terms of the agreement were not immediately known. NFL reporter Josina Anderson first reported that Poole said he intends to sign a one-year deal with the Saints on Monday.
Poole, 28, spent his first five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets after going undrafted out of Florida. The 5-foot-10, 213-pounder established himself as one of the NFL’s top slot cornerbacks before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 9 last year.
Poole had two interceptions, one sack and seven pass break-ups in his abbreviated 2020 season with the Jets. He has seven interceptions and six sacks in 70 career games.
Cornerback has been a pressing need for the Saints ever since they released veteran starter Janoris Jenkins during a salary-cap purge at the beginning of the offseason. Poole is a curious fit since he primarily plays in the slot – where New Orleans has other proven options like safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and cornerback Patrick Robinson. But the increased depth and talent can’t hurt.
The Saints, who recently created more than $10 million in cap space through revised contracts, could also look to add more veteran help at wide receiver and defensive tackle as they head toward the start of training camp this week.
Poole is known for his physical coverage against slot receivers, yet he was called for only three penalties in 2019 and none in 2020, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
He spent his first three years with the Falcons, and quickly became an integral part of the defense. As a rookie, he saw significant playing time on their NFC championship squad. In 2018, he struggled at times in pass coverage, prompting the Falcons to set him free by declining his restricted-free agent tender.
Poole proved to be a solid, cost-effective acquisition for the Jets, first signing a one-year, $3 million deal in 2019, then a one-year $5 million deal in 2020.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini contributed to this report.
New Orleans Saints agree to deal with free agent cornerback Brian Poole, source says
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