Free Agent DE Jimmy Wilkerson to Visit the Saints, Seahawks

Free agent defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson will visit the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks next week, Adam Caplan of reports.

Caplan places Wilkerson in the Big Easy on Monday and Tuesday, and in Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday, the final two days of the Seahawks' pre-draft mini-camp.

A sixth-round pick (189) out of Oklahoma by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2003 NFL Draft, Wilkerson (6-2, 270) started five of his 72 games with the Chiefs between 2003-07, totaling 94 tackles and a quarterback sack.

Wilkerson signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, and has started 16 games over the last two seasons, including all 15 he was active last season. Wilkerson has totaled 69 tackles, including 11 quarterback sacks over the last two seasons in Tampa.

Wilkerson, 29, is coming off a torn ACL, but is expected to be cleared by August.

The Saints added Alex Brown earlier in the week, but may be in the market for additional depth at defensive end considering the uncertainty surrounding Will Smith's "StarCaps" suspension. The Saints released Charles Grant, and Bobby McCray and restricted free agent Jeff Charleston are the only defensive ends besides Smith and Brown on the roster.

Meanwhile, the addition of head coach Pete Carroll and expiring contracts have led to a tinkering by the Seahawks at the defensive end position.

No attempts were made to re-sign Cory Redding, who opened last season in the starting lineup, and restricted free agent Darryl Tapp was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice and undersized (6-2, 240) defensive end Chris Clemons. The Seahawks are also unlikely to bring veteran Patrick Kerney's $5.166M salary into the 2010 regular season.

Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley coached the Buccaneers' linebackers in 2008, Wilkerson's first season in Tampa.

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