Saints add DTs Nathan Shepherd, Khalen Saunders in free agency

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Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders

The Saints lost starting defensive tackles David Onyemata and Shy Tuttle early in free agency.

Now, they have deals with a pair of players to help fill the void left behind.

New Orleans is adding Nathan Shepherd of the Jets and Khalen Saunders of the Chiefs, multiple outlets report. Both free agents are former third round picks.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Sheperd has six sacks, 39 QB pressures and 13 tackles for loss in his five year career. Last season, the 29-year old native of Ajax, Canada managed a career-high 33 tackles (four for loss) with 1.5 sacks and seven pressures.

Also like fellow Canadian Onyemata, Sheperd has served a six-game suspension for violating the league PED policy (in his case, during the 2019 season). Terms of Shepherd’s deal are not yet known.

As for Saunders, his deal with the Saints is for three years and worth up to $14.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The 6-foot, 324-pound Saunders had a career-high 3.5 sacks with 48 total tackles and eight QB hits last season for Kansas City in earning his second Super Bowl ring. The St. Louis native out of Western Illinois had a sack in the Super Bowl win over the Eagles.

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