Saints release Kaesviharn

Updated: March 26, 2009, 9:03 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

With the recent free-agent addition of veterans Darren Sharper and Pierson Prioleau, things were beginning to get crowded in the interior of the New Orleans Saints' secondary, so team officials thinned the bunch on Thursday by releasing free safety Kevin Kaesviharn.

The eight-year veteran spent his last two seasons with the Saints after six years with the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed a four-year contract with New Orleans as a free agent in 2007 and had two years left on that deal. Kaesviharn was a scheduled to earn total compensation of $1.6 million in 2009.

Sharper is expected to start along with Roman Harper at safety, and the veteran Prioleau, a longtime special teams standout, will probably be the principal backup at both positions.

Kaesviharn, 32, started 11 games at free safety last season before missing the final five contests with a neck injury. He had 64 tackles, two interceptions, in four passes defensed.

New Orleans officials made upgrading the safety position in offseason priority.

For his career, Kaesviharn has started in 58 of 94 games. He has 462 tackles, six sacks, 17 interceptions and 48 passes defensed. Now a free agent, Kaesviharn may be attractive to NFL teams because of his versatility. He has played at both safety spots in cornerback during his pro career.

Kaesviharn began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay in 2001. He was waived by the Packers and signed with the Bengals four days later.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.