The New Orleans Saints are beefing up their defense with the additions of former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson and former New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Robinson returns to the Saints — the team that drafted him — on a four-year deal, sources told ESPN. The deal is worth $20 million with $10 million guaranteed, including a $5 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. The Eagles made a push to retain him but couldn’t close the deal, a source said.
Davis gets a three-year, $24 million contract with $18 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Davis, 29, drafted by the Jets in 2012, returned to the team last June in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. This time, he was inserted into the middle linebacker position, replacing the venerable David Harris. Davis responded with his most productive season — 135 tackles and five sacks, both team highs.
Perhaps his best accomplishment: Davis was one of only 32 players in the league to play every snap over 16 games last season — 1,115 out of 1,115. Durability is his finest attribute; he hasn’t missed a game in six years.
After a mentally taxing season in Cleveland, Davis rededicated himself last offseason. He dieted, stepped up his workout regimen and made sure to get extra sleep. As a result, he felt faster, which he believes helped him in pass coverage and as a blitzer.
Upon returning to the Jets, Davis took a $2.7 million pay cut on the last year of his contract, figuring a strong season would allow him to recoup the money in free agency.
The Eagles signed Robinson, 30, to a one-year, $775,000 contract late last March to add to what was considered a very thin cornerback group at the time. He was projected to start on the outside, but he struggled during training camp, heightening concerns that the Eagles were too shaky at corner to seriously contend.
Robinson was moved inside after the trade for Ronald Darby. He developed into one of the top slot corners in the game, pacing the Eagles with four interceptions and 22 passes defended.
While Robinson was key to the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, Philadelphia, tight against the salary cap, was essentially priced out of the market for the corner. The team also has depth at the position, especially with Sidney Jones recovered from an Achilles rupture.
Before joining the Eagles, Robinson played one season each for the Indianapolis Colts, where he was limited to seven games in 2016 with an assortment of injuries, and the San Diego Chargers.
Robinson spent his first five NFL seasons with the Saints, who made him a first-round draft pick after their Super Bowl win in 2010. But both sides were ready for a change of scenery after he experienced a number of highs and lows during his time in New Orleans.
His best season with the Saints came as their No. 3 cornerback in 2011 before he struggled as a full-time starter in 2012 and had his 2013 season wiped out by a major knee injury. But the team showed persistent faith in him before he left as a free agent in 2015 — and it clearly still has that faith after watching him thrive elsewhere.
The Saints’ secondary improved last year because of cornerback Marshon Lattimore, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and second-year cornerback Ken Crawley having breakout seasons. But a nickel corner was a top priority for them this offseason.
Robinson has 14 interceptions and 77 passes defended in eight NFL seasons.
ESPN’s Tim McManus and Mike Triplett contributed to this report.
Source : http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/22763099/new-orleans-saints-adding-cb-patrick-robinson-lb-demario-davis