METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Saints were off Tuesday. Their front office was busy.
General manager Mickey Loomis confirmed New Orleans had agreed to terms with its top draft choice, defensive end Cameron Jordan, and veteran tight end David Thomas.
A person familiar with another deal told The Associated Press the Saints also had agreed to a contract with defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Saints had not announced the deal with Franklin.
Jordan’s four-year deal is worth about $7.7 million, said his agent, Doug Hendricks. The agreement meant that the rookie could practice for the first time on Wednesday after missing the first five days of training camp.
The 6-foot-4, 287-pound Jordan, the son of former Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan, was taken 24th overall out of California.
The Saints drafted Jordan with the hope of bolstering a pass rush that tied for 18th in the NFL in sacks last season.
As a senior at Cal, Jordan was credited with 62 tackles, 12 1-2 stops for losses and 5 1-2 sacks while forcing three fumbles. He also made first-team Pac-10 last year.
Jordan ended his collegiate career with 175 tackles, 16 1-2 sacks for minus-89 yards, 34 tackles for losses of 122 yards, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, an interception and five pass deflections.
He could find a prominent role soon. The Saints’ starters at defensive end are Will Smith and Alex Brown, but Smith is expected to begin the regular season on a four-game suspension stemming from his 2008 positive test for a substance that is banned by the NFL because it is known to mask steroid use. The suspension has been delayed for about three seasons while the matter was tied up in the courts.
Jordan was the last of the Saints’ six draft picks to agree to terms, allowing New Orleans to turn its attention to free agency.
The 6-foot-1, 317-pound Franklin is an eight-year veteran and proven run defender who has started the past four seasons for San Francisco after beginning his career in Baltimore. His addition adds depth to an interior defensive line that already includes 6-4, 350-pound Shaun Rogers and 6-1, 307-pound Sedrick Ellis, the Saints’ 2008 first-round pick.
Thomas has been a regular contributor since joining the Saints in their Super Bowl season of 2009, with 30 or more receptions in each of the past two seasons. A strong blocker, he also has played fullback when needed.
The Saints also agreed to free-agent deals with safety Paul Oliver, tight end Tory Humphrey and cornerback Terraill Lambert.
Oliver is a four-year veteran who has appeared in 44 games for San Diego. He has 106 career tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. He also has been a special teams regular.
Humphrey has been with the Saints the past two seasons after spending his first three pro seasons with Green Bay. He played in six games last season, catching one pass for 12 yards.
Lambert was undrafted in 2009 and has yet to make his debut in an NFL regular season game, but the 25-year-old out of Notre Dame has spent time with San Francisco, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Miami during the previous two seasons.
New Orleans also waived a pair of undrafted rookies who had signed with the club last week but quickly started missing practices because of injuries. One was cornerback Josh Gatlin out of North Dakota State, who was struggling with an injured thumb and knee. The other was guard Carl Johnson out of Florida, who never passed his physical because of a hamstring pull.