Jahri Evans hits it big with Saints

It took a while but Jahri Evans has cashed in.

The New Orleans Saints have extended the Pro Bowl guard with a whopper of a contract. Evans gets a seven-year deal that is worth up to $56.7 million. It’s a huge windfall for Evans and a big move for the Saints to keep one of the mainstays on their line in place.

“Jahri is an excellent young player who has been part of the nucleus of this team since arriving in 2006 and we’re excited to know that he’s going to be with us for many years to come,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement released by the team. “We liked what we saw from him as a small-school prospect in the draft four years ago, and I can say that we’ve loved what we’ve seen from him on the NFL level as well.”

As we’ve written before, they key to building a top-flight offensive line is the ability to identify top prospects after the first round, and New Orleans did that in 2006 when it drafted Evans in the fourth round, 108th overall, out of Bloomsburg University. He earned a starting job as a rookie, and now he has what is one of the best contracts ever for an interior lineman.

“Jahri is an intelligent and physically gifted player that has helped our team achieve a great deal since he’s been here,” coach Sean Payton said. “He’s a leader on the field and in the locker room and a player we all know we can count on performing to the high standard he has set.”

The Saints signed veteran safety Darren Sharper on Tuesday. Now, there cannot be many big moves left for them before they embark on their title defense.

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