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Saints consider reunion with Jahri Evans, one of 16 free-agent visits

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints brought in a whopping total of 16 free agents for visits or tryouts Tuesday -- but the headliner was easily guard Jahri Evans.

It's unclear how serious the Saints are about reuniting with their former six-time Pro Bowler, who turned 33 last month. But they have to at least consider the idea because of their struggles at the guard position this preseason.

The Saints deemed Evans expendable in February because of his age and salary level. But they didn't wind up signing any replacements in free agency or drafting any guards. And young players Andrus Peat and Tim Lelito have failed to develop as hoped this summer.

The Saints also considered lining up a visit with former Green Bay Packers guard Josh Sitton earlier this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. But Sitton signed with the Chicago Bears.

Evans, a fourth-round draft pick out of Bloomsburg in 2006, quickly established himself as one of the NFL's premier offensive linemen and started for 10 years at right guard. He was named first-team All-Pro four times and signed a seven-year, $56.7 million contract in 2010 that was the richest for a guard in NFL history at the time.

Evans started the first 114 games of his career before he began battling a series of nagging injuries in recent years -- including knee and ankle issues that sidelined him for five games last year.

Evans joined the Seattle Seahawks during training camp, but he got released this past weekend when they trimmed their roster to 53 players. The Seahawks had two young starters in place that they liked, and they went with more versatile backup options.

It's worth noting that Evans' meeting with New Orleans was listed as a "visit," while the other 15 players they brought in were listed as "tryouts."

The Saints already signed one of those players -- veteran cornerback Sterling Moore.

Among the other notable names on the tryout list were veteran receivers Rueben Randle, Nate Washington, Andre Caldwell and Greg Little. Also on the list were offensive tackles Khalif Barnes and Bryce Harris, guard Michael Liedtke, tight ends Nic Jacobs and Jake Stoneburner, defensive backs Darrin Walls and B.W. Webb and long snappers Aaron Brewer, Andrew East and Thomas Gafford.

It's somewhat normal to have a long list of tryouts at this stage of the year, as teams try to get a feel for the players recently released around the league.

However, the Saints are clearly a little more needy than usual after a sloppy 0-4 preseason.

They have already done some roster churning this week, including Tuesday's switches at cornerback (Moore in, Cortland Finnegan out) and kicker (Wil Lutz in, Kai Forbath out).