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Norman Hand May Sign With Saints

February 23, 2000

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Defensive tackle Norman Hand has agreed to leave the San Diego Charges and is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints today, according to a published report.

Hand will sign a five-year, $20 million contract that will make him one of the Saints’ highest-paid players, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported. The deal reportedly includes a $5 million signing bonus.

Hand, a free agent, also talked with the Charges and Green Bay.

He is considered one of the top run-stopping defensive linemen and would fill one of the Saints most pressing needs. The club has only three defensive tackles on the roster, with 11-year veteran Wayne Martin considering retirement.

Over the past three years with the Chargers, Hand played in 45 games, made 113 tackles and had 11 sacks. Previously, he played for two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

The Saints finished 20th in the NFL in rushing defense last season.

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