NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints went back to the source of their best free-agent signing from last year -- the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Saints signed Tiger-Cats linebacker Erik Harris to a reserve/futures contract, a league source confirmed. Harris' signing was first reported by 3DownNation. Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux also played for the Tiger-Cats before signing with New Orleans last year and having a breakout debut season.
Harris (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) was primarily a linebacker in Canada, though he could also play safety. And longtime CFL personnel man John Murphy said Harris could be a very good special teams contributor in the NFL -- comparing him to the Texans' Brian Peters.
"He’s faster than people expect, has shown a nose for the football, versatile defender," said Murphy, the assistant vice president of football operations and player personnel for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Murphy is based out of Metairie, Louisiana, and keeps close tabs on the Saints. He expects Harris to play linebacker and special teams in New Orleans.
Harris, who turns 26 on Thursday, spent three years in Canada after going undrafted out of California University (Pa.). He had 69 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions over the past two years. He scored one touchdown on an interception return and another TD during a cameo on offense.
The Saints have signed a steady stream of Canadian players in recent years. That list includes Breaux, Tom Johnson, Marcus Ball and Derrius Brooks -- some more successful than others.