Malcom Brown

New England Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90) during a break in action against the New York Jets during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Saints agreed to a deal with former Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown on Thursday, adding a big piece at a suddenly big position of need. 

Brown's deal is for three years and $15 million, a source confirmed. NFL Network broke the news.

The move comes as defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins works his way back from a torn Achilles that is expected to keep him sidelined for about six weeks to start the season, according to a source. 

The status of David Onyemata for the start of the season is also up in the air after he was cited for allegedly having marijuana delivered to his home. Fellow defensive tackle Tyeler Davison is currently a free agent.

Brown, 25, played four years for the Patriots after being selected No. 32 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Texas. He recorded 103 tackles and 8.5 sacks over that time. He's played in each of the past three Super Bowls for New England, including wins in 2016 and this past season. 

New Orleans picked linebacker Stephone Anthony one spot ahead of Brown in the 2015 draft.

Listed at 320 pounds, Brown has played both on the nose at three-technique defensive tackle. He is known as more of a run stuffer, but some believe he could be more productive in the pass rush in another system.