Saints agree with Galette, offer tenders to two others  

New Orleans Saints' Junior Galette is seen on the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
New Orleans Saints' Junior Galette is seen on the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

By Sheldon Mickles

Advocate sportswriter

The New Orleans Saints got three of their four restricted free agents taken care of Saturday as they prepared for the start of the signing period Tuesday.

The club announced that defensive end-turned-linebacker Junior Galette agreed to a three-year contract and General Manager Mickey Loomis later confirmed that center Brian de la Puente and running back Chris Ivory were extended second-round tender offers.

Galette, a 6-foot-2, 258-pounder, originally signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Stillman College in 2010 and made the 53-man roster in training camp.

Galette has appeared in 32 games in his first three seasons with two starts. He recorded 4 1/2 sacks in 2011 and last season had a career-high five sacks despite missing four games with an ankle injury.

De la Puente and Ivory, who will each receive $2.023 million in base salary for 2013, can negotiate with other teams until one week before the draft.

If they sign an offer sheet with another team, the Saints would have the chance to match the deal and retain them -- or get a second-round draft pick as compensation.

De la Puente, a former practice squad player who made the active roster in 2011, started 12 games that year after veteran Olin Kreutz retired and kept the job and started all 16 games last season.

Ivory led the Saints in rushing with 716 yards in 2010 after making the roster as an undrafted free agent and has career totals of 1,307 yards and eight TDs in just 24 games. He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry for his career.