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Saints' Darryl Tapp not a game-changer, but good fit on and off field

METAIRIE, La. -- Darryl Tapp was a nice fit both on and off the field when the New Orleans Saints signed the veteran defensive end to a one-year deal last July.

So they did it again on Thursday.

Tapp, 32, won't lead any sort of pass-rushing revolution in New Orleans (which is too bad, because the Saints could really use one). But he can be a solid part of the rotation with projected starters Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor, backup Hau'oli Kikaha and one or two draft picks who will likely be added to the mix.

Terms: One year, financial details not immediately available

ESPN 150 ranking: Unranked

Grade -- B-plus: This deal will likely be at or near the veteran minimum, so it's hard to argue with -- especially since Tapp's personality and leadership proved to be such a great fit in the locker room last year. However, he is more solid than spectacular as a pass-rusher at this stage of his career. He had 0.5 sack, nine quarterback hits and a fumble recovery in 16 games last year, with two starts.

What it means: Saints coach Sean Payton described an edge-rushing defensive end as a “must” this offseason, and I ranked it as New Orleans' No. 1 need. So ideally, Okafor can stay healthy and have a career-best season. And ideally the Saints will use one of their two first-round draft picks on a dynamic pass-rusher. If that happens, Tapp will just provide some good, solid depth and leadership. If not, they might need him to play a bigger role. Kikaha could also be in the mix at that weakside end position if he recovers from last year's ACL injury. It's unclear if the Saints have any interest in bringing back veteran Paul Kruger. They already let backup Kasim Edebali get away to the Denver Broncos.

What's the risk: None, actually. Tapp is pretty ideal as a locker room presence and backup option. He has 28 career sacks and 11 forced fumbles in 11 years spent with the Saints, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks. The Saints still need to keep upgrading the position, though.