Saints reportedly interested in former Colts DE Freeney

The Saints continue to explore ways to improve their 32nd-ranked defense through free agency.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Saints may be interested in signing former Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and seven-time Pro Bowl pick.

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis didn’t respond to an email seeking confirmation of the team’s interest in Freeney, or if they have scheduled a visit with the 11-year veteran.

Freeney, was released by the Colts on Feb. 15, just four days before his 33rd birthday. He recorded 107 1/2 sacks in his 11 years with the team, but was hampered in recent seasons by ankle problems.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos could also be in the hunt for Freeney’s services.

Freeney could be used as a rush outside linebacker in the Saints’ new 3-4 scheme that they’ll use under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, but the former Syracuse star had only five sacks last season when the Colts switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4.

The Saints signed former Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis on the third day of the free-agency signing period and had former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in for a visit as well.

Asomugha, who played for Ryan with the Oakland Raiders from 2004-08, is reportedly trying to decide between the Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Linebacker Victor Butler, who played the past four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, also met with team officials before subsequent visits with the Cleveland Browns and Eagles.

Like Asomugha, Butler played for Ryan the past two seasons when Ryan ran the Cowboys’ defense.