Keenan Lewis signs with New Orleans Saints
Keenan Lewis has agreed to a five-year with the New Orleans Saints, worth $26 million deal ($11 million guaranteed), according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Lewis, arguably the top cornerback available in this year's free-agent class, led the league with 16 pass break-ups last season, out of the Steelers' secondary.
He'll add a much-needed defensive weapon to a Saints' defense that finished 31st against the pass last season.
The 26-year-old Lewis stands 6-foot-0 and about 210 pounds. He figures to start at one of the Saints' cornerback spots next year, likely with Jabari Greer at the other and Patrick Robinson defending the slot.
No matter the setup, it's a better look for the Saints -- especially in a division that will again pit them with, among others, the high-flying Atlanta Falcons and their talented receiving corps.
Lewis burst onto the scene last season as a full-time starter, after making just one start over his first three years. He did not pick off any passes (and has only one career pick), but he still played very well, as evidenced by that passes-defensed number.
The Steelers would have loved to keep Lewis around, but they continue to find themselves in a very difficult salary cap situation. The Saints were a natural fit for Lewis in a lot of ways, not the least of which being that he's a New Orleans native.
Grade: A. Nothing about the financial aspect of this deal stands out in a negative light -- Lewis landed right in line with the CB signings of the past 24 hours, and he might be better than any other defensive back to sign in that time.