Saints firm things up at left tackle

Maybe New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will be able to sleep a little better now.

At the NFL owners meeting last month, Payton said the team’s situation at left tackle was something that kept him up a night. The Saints lost last year's starting left tackle, Jermon Bushrod, via free agency.

The Saints may have found a solution for that Thursday. The team just announced it has signed tackle Jason Smith to a one-year contract.

Smith was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the St. Louis Rams. He never quite lived up to his draft status in St. Louis and spent last season with the New York Jets.

But Smith has started 26 of 45 career games and has played both right and left tackle. In New Orleans, Smith probably immediately moves ahead of Charles Brown on the depth chart at left tackle.

Once upon a time, Smith was viewed as a guy that could be a special left tackle. It looks like he’ll have a chance for a fresh start in New Orleans.