Saints re-sign Roby, Humber; add Watson

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNISSaints receiver Courtney Roby returns a kickoff.
Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNISSaints receiver Courtney Roby returns a kickoff.

The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that they agreed to one-year contracts with two of their unrestricted free agents — wide receiver Courtney Roby and linebacker Ramon Humber — and signed tight end Benjamin Watson to a three-year contract.

Roby, who has excelled as a kick returner as well as on kick coverage since joining the Saints as a free agent in 2008, and Humber, who has played in a reserve role for the past three seasons, were two of the team’s 11 unsigned players at the start of the free agency signing
period March 12.

Watson, a 6-foot-3, 255-pounder, comes to the Saints from the Cleveland Browns, with whom he appeared in 45 games with 41 starts from 2010-12.

Originally a first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2004, Watson, a former University of Georgia star, has played in 116 NFL games with 88 starts and has 321 receptions for 3,776 yards with 28 touchdowns.

Watson, who is expected to back up Jimmy Graham, played in all 16 games for the Browns last season with 14 starts and recorded 49 receptions for 501 yards and three touchdowns.

Roby, who has been elected a captain for the special teams units the past two seasons, has played in 61 games with the Saints.

The former Indiana University standout has averaged 25.6 yards on 94 kickoff returns with one TD and has a club-best 61 special teams stops with two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Roby, an eight-year veteran, had 10 special teams tackles last season and recovered a blocked punt in the season opener against the Washington Redskins that he returned for a touchdown.

Humber has also played a key role for the Saints’ special teams with 43 tackles during his three seasons with the team.

Last season, he tied for second on the team with 14 tackles — his highest single-season total as a member of the Saints.

The Saints on Sunday wrapped up a visit with free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who was released last week by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Asomugha, 32, played for new Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan from 2004-08 with the Oakland Raiders. Before meeting with the Saints, Asomugha visited with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Saints signed former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis to a five-year, $26.3 million contract
Thursday but could still use more help after finishing 31st against the pass last season and allowing 31 TD passes.