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A.J. Klein | Linebacker | #53

Team: New Orleans Saints
Age / DOB:  (26) / 7/30/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 240
College: Iowa State
Drafted: 2013 / Rd. 5 (148) / CAR
Contract: view contract details
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Saints signed MLB A.J. Klein, formerly of the Panthers, to a three-year, $15 million contract with $9.4 million guaranteed.
The deal was originally reported as four years, but the final year of the deal voids for proration purposes. Klein played extended snaps for Carolina last year after Luke Kuechly went down with a concussion. He was a liability in coverage but was passable as a run-stopper. The Saints use a 4-3 defense, so Klein won't have to adjust to a new scheme. Klein said his priority was to sign where he could start. He should have that opportunity at MIKE linebacker in New Orleans. Mar 9 - 11:46 AM

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Date:

Impending free agent LB A.J. Klein told SiriusXM NFL Radio he is looking for a starting job.

The comment all but rules out a return to the Panthers, who are set with Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson. Klein has played an important role as an injury replacement the last couple seasons, however. Considering Davis' age and Kuechly's concussion history, the Panthers will need to replace Klein. The 25-year-old should be given a chance to compete for a starting job with several linebacker-needy teams in the market.
Feb 23 - 8:44 AM

Panthers second-year LB A.J. Klein is learning all three linebacker spots.

Klein is competing with Chase Blackburn for the starting weak-side linebacker job, and also backing up Luke Kuechly. He was mostly limited to special teams as a rookie, but held his own in two starts and is a candidate for more playing time. Kuechly and Thomas Davis stay on the field in nickel packages, so Klein would only have a two-down role.
Fri, Jun 20, 2014 06:19:00 PM

Panthers second-year LB A.J. Klein is expected to get a chance to start in 2014.

He'd most likely push journeyman WLB Chase Blackburn at weak-side linebacker. A 2013 fifth-round pick out of Iowa State, Klein held up well in two rookie-year starts. He's still unlikely to make a serious IDP dent next season.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 03:16:00 PM

Panthers signed fifth-round LB A.J. Klein to a four-year contract.

Klein was a three-year starter at Iowa State, playing both strong-side and weak-side linebacker. He and Chase Blackburn will be the main backups at linebacker in Carolina, and Klein will play a lot on special teams as a rookie.
Thu, May 23, 2013 03:43:00 PM

Panthers selected Iowa State LB A.J. Klein with the No. 148 overall pick.

Klein (6-foot-1 1/4, 250) saw action at both strong- and weak-side linebacker as a three-year starter for the Cyclones. He tallied 20 career tackles for loss and tied an NCAA linebacker record with four pick-sixes. Klein ran 4.66 at the Combine and did 20 reps on the bench. Primarily a SAM 'backer with plus athleticism and thumping ability, Klein could be a poor man's Chad Greenway. He'll initially focus on special teams unless something goes wrong with Jon Beason's health, which has been known to happen.
Sat, Apr 27, 2013 02:47:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Drew Brees
2Chase Daniel
3Taysom Hill
RB1Mark Ingram
2Alvin Kamara
3Adrian Peterson
GLB1Mark Ingram
2Adrian Peterson
3RB1Mark Ingram
2Alvin Kamara
FB1John Kuhn
WR11Michael Thomas
2Willie Snead
3Tommylee Lewis
WR21Ted Ginn
2Brandon Coleman
3Austin Carr
WR31Willie Snead
TE1Coby Fleener
2Josh Hill
3Michael Hoomanawanui
LT1Ryan Ramczyk
2Terron Armstead
LG1Andrus Peat
2Senio Kelemete
C1Max Unger
RG1Larry Warford
2Josh LeRibeus
RT1Zach Strief
K1Wil Lutz