Ex Chicago Bear defensive end Alex Brown is scheduled to visit the Saints today. Brown was recently released by the Bears, in part because of the high price tag he carried and the recent free agent signing of Julius Peppers. Oddly, the division rival Panthers and Buccaneers seem to be the other teams most interested in Brown's services. Brown has been very steady in his career, posting 6 sacks per year in 4 out of his last 6 seasons. He also posted 7 sacks and 4.5 sacks in separate years during that span. He's not a premiere pass rusher, but he's steady and he's also a capable run stopper. At 30 years old, one would hope he's still got something left in the tank. The best news of all, since he was released by the Bears, is that he won't count against the Saints' ability to sign one free agent.
My knowledgeable Bears' inside source, JLaw, says the following: "I know he will play hard and not be a distraction. Brown was a popular player with his teammates and fans in Chicago. His high salary number for 2010 was one reason given for his release. His reputation as a team player and a hard worker was never in doubt, even when he lost his starting job to one move wonder Mark Anderson. Too bad the Bears overpaid for their recent free agent binge necessitating his release. Wrong side of 30, but the right kind of attitude." Many thanks to him for the scoop.
Personally, I don't know how much it will cost the Saints, but I'd love to see them step up and sign Brown. Based on JLaw's feedback, he'd be a perfect fit for the Saints' high character locker room. He could step in for the loss of Charles Grant and start immediately. I think he'd perform well and be an instant upgrade at defensive end. He's also extremely durable as I believe he's missed 1 game in 9 seasons. That's a far cry from what we were used to with Charles Grant. As it stands the Saints are counting on Bobby McCray and Jeff Charleston to man the starting defensive end spot vacated by Grant, so I think Brown would be a terrific addition to the rotation. It all depends on how much he wants, though.