The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent DT Damion Square and released rookie fullback Sutton Smith, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Smith had been in a competition with veteran Alex Armah for the starting fullback position. He had one reception for 12 yards in Saturday's preseason win against Jacksonville.
Square's signing comes just days after the Saints placed DT Jalen Dalton on injured reserve with a season-ending injury. New Orleans is thin at defensive tackle, with former undrafted players Shy Tuttle and Malcolm Roach favored to be the opening day starters.
The 32-year-old Square entered the league as an undrafted rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 out of Alabama. He appeared in ten games with the Eagles as a reserve lineman during his rookie year, getting credited with 4 tackles.
After spending 2014 on the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs, Square was signed as the San Diego Chargers in 2015. He’d remain with the Chargers for the next six seasons.
Square appeared in 81 games over six years with the Chargers, including all of their last 64 contests in the last four seasons. His best year was in 2018, when he started 11 games and had a career-high 3 sacks and 7 tackles for loss among 31 total stops.
Square has 6.5 career sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 17 credited QB hits. He has 12 QB pressures over the last three seasons. He’s an athletic defensive lineman with an explosive first step, good upper body strength, and the versatility to play defensive end in big packages.
New Orleans will be without star DT David Onyemata to start the year. Onyemata will be serving a six-game league suspension.
The 6’2” and 293-Lb. Square will compete for an interior spot on the defensive line against Tuttle, Roach, and other undrafted players Josiah Bronson, Christian Ringo, and Albert Huggins. The Saints wrap up their preseason when they host the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow afternoon.
All NFL teams must trim their roster to 53 players by Tuesday, August 31 at 4 PM.
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