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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
David Hawthorne to visit Saints

By Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints are bringing in free-agent linebacker David Hawthorne for a visit Friday, a league source said.

Hawthorne, 26, spent the past four seasons in Seattle and emerged as a starter in 2009. Hawthorne had a career-high three interceptions this past season and was in on 115 tackles.

Hawthorne has played primarily in the middle but has played some on the outside. The Seahawks are interested in keeping him but don’t want to overpay.

The Saints seem to be in transition at linebacker with Jo-Lonn Dunbar on the free-agent market, and some uncertainty about the futures of Jonathan Vilma and Will Herring. Vilma is coming off a knee injury and has a high salary-cap figure. Herring, who was signed last year from Seattle, didn’t produce this past season and could be a cap casualty.

The Saints have some familiarity with Hawthorne, whom they played against in a playoff game after the 2010 season. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also was previously the head coach in St. Louis and saw a lot of Hawthorne in the NFC West.