The day after the Saints' NFC championship game loss to the Los Angeles Rams, linebacker Craig Robertson talked about his future.
"I want to be back," Robertson said. "We have unfinished business. I'm not worried about that. That will take care of itself. I just want to win. That's it."
Robertson is getting his wish.
The linebacker has signed an extension that will keep him with the Saints for the next two seasons.
The Saints don’t need to be wildly aggressive in free agency, but they should be at least a little active.
Robertson serves predominantly on special teams but is a capable reserve on defense.
The linebacker hooked on with the Saints in 2016 and served as a captain the past two years. He started 15 games on defense in 2016 and logged 114 tackles.
The team tried to replace him on defense the next year, but injuries and ineffectiveness pushed him back into the starting lineup for 12 games in 2017, and he picked up 77 sacks and two sacks.
Robertson played almost entirely on special teams last year. He was in on two of the Saints' biggest special teams plays of the season. In the Saints' regular-season victory over the Los Angeles Rams, it was Robertson who stopped punter Johnny Hekker just shy of the first-down marker on an attempted fake punt. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Robertson stuffed a fake punt attempt.
The NFL's free agency period begins on Wednesday.
His signing, along with that of safety Chris Banjo, should ensure more success on special teams next season.
Saints coach Sean Payton talked during the season about the importance of having players like Robertson and Banjo.
"It is a performance-based business and you need to have guys that can do multiple things," Payton said. "Those two players specifically do multiple things well... It's back to 46 players on the gameday roster and the challenges that presents. And so then when you put that with their makeup, and how they approach their daily job, you know that's invaluable to what a team is then. Because they bring that enthusiasm, that competitive fire to what they do and they're real good leaders.”
Robertson was voted by his teammates as a captain for the second straight year last season.
"I had a blast," Robertson said in January. "I had fun doing everything. I really understood what it was like to be a leader. Not just someone somebody is looking at making plays But to a point where 'Hey, you need do this.' Or guys coming and guys needing to come ask you stuff and I was there for them. So it was my first time in my career where I felt like a real leader and a real captain. I felt honored throughout the year."