Saints to sign new fullback Erik Lorig

The New Orleans Saints announced they have agreed to a four-year contract with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Erik Lorig. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lorig will replace Jed Collins, whom the Saints decided not to re-sign as a restricted free agent.

Clearly, the Saints see Lorig as an upgrade. He's been a solid lead blocker for the Buccaneers throughout his four-year career and comes to the Saints in his prime. However, it’s not immediately clear why New Orleans made the switch, since Lorig and Collins are very similar in terms of age, size and production.

Both players are part-time players, primarily used as lead blockers. They’re also used on special teams and occasionally as receivers out of the backfield.

One possible theory is the Saints are looking to build a more traditional rushing offense, since they also traded away runner/receiver Darren Sproles this offseason, which will give more touches to more traditional running backs such as Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. But the Saints have not made any comments to that effect.

Lorig actually began his career as a defensive end when he was drafted in the seventh round by the Buccaneers in 2010. He then made the position switch during his rookie year, and he has played in all but one game over the past three seasons.

Collins, meanwhile, is scheduled to visit this week with the Detroit Lions, where he could be reunited with former Saints quarterbacks coach and current Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.