The New Orleans Saints announced on Thursday that they have signed unrestricted free agent CB Keenan Lewis to a five-year contract.  The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.

“We are excited to be able to add a player of Keenan’s ability to our defense,” Loomis said.  “He was a top free agent target for us and I know that he is very excited to be able to come home to play football.”

Lewis, 6-1, 208 pounds, is a New Orleans native who prepped at O. Perry Walker High School and broke into the NFL as a third round draft pick (96th overall) in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he spent the last four seasons. Lewis played his collegiate football at Oregon State, where he was a four-year starter for the Beavers.  At Oregon State he was very successful appearing appearing in 50 games with 48 starts. In his college career he recorded career totals of 117 tackles (81 solo), seven interception returns, one for a touchdown, 30 passes defensed, one sack,  one forced fumble with four interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.

In four-seasons as professional, Lewis has played in 45 career regular season games, making 17 starts in Pittsburgh, and has registered 112 tackles (95 solo), one interception return for nine yards, 34 passes defensed and one forced fumble. He was also a versatile part of special teams recording 13 tackles and one forced fumble.

This past season Lewis became a full-time starter for the Steelers, playing in all 16 games for Pittsburgh in the secondary. By setting career highs in both tackles and passes defended Lewis posted 78 tackles (63 solo), an NFL-leading 28 passes defensed and one forced fumble for the NFL’s top-ranked defense both overall and against the pass

“I’m very excited to be able to come back to my hometown,” Lewis said. “Having grown up here I understand the passion that the fans have for the Saints and I’m blessed to be able to have the chance to play in front of them here in the future. I had a great visit with the Saints and am thankful for the time I spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers and wish them continued success.”