Free agent FB Lorig gets visit from Saints

Associated Press photo by Brian BlancoBuccaneers fullback Erik Lorig runs against the Carolina Panthers. Show caption
Associated Press photo by Brian BlancoBuccaneers fullback Erik Lorig runs against the Carolina Panthers.

After the Saints chose not to tender a contract offer to restricted free agent fullback Jed Collins, they visited with free agent fullback Erik Lorig, ESPN reported Sunday.

Lorig, who most recently played with the Buccaneers, is seen as one of the best players available in free agency at his position. He has been praised for blocking well for a Tampa Bay rushing attack that managed to gain more than 100 yards per contest despite losing its best running back, Doug Martin, to a season-ending shoulder injury six games into 2013.

All of Lorig’s touches in the NFL have been receptions. In four seasons with the Bucs, he has caught 30 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown.

Collins is a top-class fullback, too. He has missed just one game in his three seasons with New Orleans and has shown he can block on runs and passes. He has caught four touchdown passes and rushed for three scores during his time in New Orleans.

The lowest tender Collins could’ve been offered would’ve been worth a relatively hefty $1.32 million because of his experience. A tender gives teams the opportunity to match any offer sheet a restricted free agent might sign to retain the player.

In other news, former Saints receiver Lance Moore is scheduled to visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, a league source confirmed to The Advocate on Sunday. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora first reported the visit with the Steelers had been set up, and ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported Moore had recently met with New England.

Moore was released earlier this month by the Saints and heads to Pittsburgh after wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed a three-year contract with Denver on Sunday. Moore joined the Saints back in 2005 and went on to catch 346 passes for 4,281 yards — fifth-most in both categories among NFL undrafted receivers from 2005 to 2013. He also caught the fifth-most touchdown passes in Saints history (38) as well as a key two-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans’ lone NFL championship victory.