Another veteran pass rusher appears on track to enter unrestricted free agency when the league’s new calendar year begins on March 13.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Alex Okafor‘s contract was updated with language in late December to reflect the deal automatically voids the final year on the last day of the 2018 league year, according to Nick Underhill of The Advocate.
Okafor, who signed a two-year contract in March 2018, triggered the clause by recording three sacks on the season through Week 11 before finishing the past campaign with four sacks. The Advocate first reported that Okafor had to provide written notification of his intent to enter free agency before the language adjustment.
Okafor originally joined the Saints on a one-year deal in 2017 after spending four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He was enjoying a productive start to the 2017 season, totaling 43 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles in 11 games, before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury.
The Saints elected to bring back Okafor for the 2018 season, and he was in a rotational role on the right side of the defensive line with rookie Marcus Davenport, the Saints‘ first-round pick last year, opposite of left defensive end Cameron Jordan.
In a league where teams are always in need of pass rushers, Okafor should get attention on the open market. He’s still young at 28 and provides plenty of experience, having appeared in 68 career games with 51 starts, totaling 22 sacks over six seasons.