The New Orleans Saints' depleted defensive line has taken another hit.
The loss of Sagapolutele leaves the Saints without three of last year's four starters on the defensive line.
Right end Joe Johnson, who was designated as the team's franchise player, is a holdout due to a contract dispute. Johnson turned down a five-year, $21 million offer and is unwilling to play for a $3 million tender this season.
Left end Darren Mickell retired at the end of the 1997 season, leaving left tackle Wayne Martin as the only defensive line starter from a year ago.
The 28-year-old Sagapolutele signed as a free agent with New Orleans in 1997. He had two sacks in 14 games in his first season with the team.
The 6-foot-6, 297-pounder was the starting right defensive tackle on New England's Super Bowl XXXI team. He spent the first five years of his seven-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns.
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