Sources: Ex-Saint Horn agrees to sign with Falcons

Updated: March 8, 2007, 11:56 PM ET
By Michael Smith | ESPN.com

Atlanta's young and underachieving receiving corps has a leader. More important, the Falcons have fetched Michael Vick another dependable target.

Former Saints receiver Joe Horn, released last week by New Orleans, agreed Wednesday to sign with the rival Falcons, according to team sources. Horn reportedly passed a Falcons physical Tuesday.

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According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Horn said the Falcons are offering him $19 million over four years, including $7.5 million guaranteed in the first two years. He is expected to be introduced as a Falcon at a news conference Thursday evening at 6 ET.

Horn began his visit with the Falcons on Monday night and never left, deciding not to visit Green Bay or Jacksonville, who also were interested in the services of the 35-year-old wideout, who has 576 receptions, 8,501 yards and 57 touchdowns in 11 seasons with Kansas City and New Orleans.

On Wednesday evening, the team denied that a formal deal had been reached with Horn.

"It's not done yet," Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said. "We haven't signed a contract, so he's not an Atlanta Falcon. We haven't reached an agreement, so he's not an Atlanta Falcon."

Horn, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who served as the voice of the Saints' franchise -- and, to some extent, the Gulf South region -- during a 2005 season ruined by Hurricane Katrina, posted four 1,000-yard seasons with the Saints. But he's had only five touchdown catches the past two seasons and missed six games last year due to injury.

The chance to face the Saints twice a season and remain close to New Orleans presumably played a part in Horn's decision to sign with the Falcons, along with the prospect of playing with Vick in new head coach Bobby Petrino and offensive coordinator Hugh Jackson's system.

The Saints deemed Horn expendable largely because of the emergence last season of rookie Marques Colston and former second-round pick Devery Henderson.

 Joe Horn
Horn

In Atlanta, Horn immediately vaults to the top of a receiver depth chart that includes former first-round picks Michael Jenkins and Roddy White, who will no doubt benefit from a mentor as experienced and accomplished as Horn.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Michael Smith

NFL Senior Writer
Michael Smith joined ESPN in July 2004 as a National Football League senior writer for ESPN.com, covering league news and major events such as the NFL Draft, NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl, and continues to write breaking news stories. He is also a correspondent for E:60, ESPN's first multi-themed prime-time newsmagazine program, which debuted October 2007.