Saints agree to terms with Michael Burton, Justin Hardee

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The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with DB Justin Hardee on a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.

Hardee, 6-1, 200, has played in 46 regular season games and five postseason contests. Over the past three seasons, Hardee’s 24 special teams tackles have led the club. He has also blocked a punt, caught a pass for a ten-yard gain and on defense recorded 15 solo tackles, a 77-yard interception return and two passes defensed. In 2019, Hardee recorded five special teams stops and added six solo defensive tackles.

Hardee was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois in 2017. After spending the 2017 preseason with Houston, he joined the Saints practice squad at the start of the regular season and was elevated to the active roster in Week Three.

The Cleveland, Ohio native was a five-year wide receiver at Illinois, where in his final season, he finished second on the team with 314 receiving yards on 25 grabs. Hardee departed Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degrees in education and sport management.

Hardee is also one of the most active Saints in various community activities, often centered on outreach to youth and stressing education and reading. His Hardee Cares foundation facilitates programs for youth in New Orleans and Cleveland, as well as supporting sarcoidosis awareness, honoring his mother who passed away from the disease.


The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent FB Michael Burton on a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.

Burton, 6-0, 240, is a five-year NFL veteran who was originally selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round (168th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Rutgers. In five seasons for Detroit (2015-16), Chicago (2017-18) and Washington (2019), the Long Valley, N.J. native has played in 65 games with 13 starts, carrying eight times for 11 yards, catching nine passes for 53 yards and one touchdowns and 13 special teams tackles.

After Burton spent the 2019 preseason with New Orleans, he appeared in ten games with two starts for Washington and also contributed on special teams, where he recorded a career-high six coverage stops (three solo).

Burton was a five-year contributor at Rutgers, walking on as a freshman in 2010 and then contributing in the offensive backfield for the Scarlet Knights for the next four seasons. He played in 42 career games (27 starts) and totaled 116 career rushing yards on 22 carries to go along with 401 yards receiving on 47 receptions and three touchdowns.

(Both releases provided by the New Orleans Saints)

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