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Saints sign one-year deal with WR Hakim

NEW ORLEANS (June 21, 2005) -- Free-agent wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim signed with the New Orleans Saints a week after an agreement with the Kansas City Chiefs fell through.

Hakim, released by the Detroit Lions, signed a one-year deal with New Orleans.

"He is an established player who has shown he can be an important part of an offense throughout his career," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. "We wanted to add a proven veteran to the mix at the position and we have with this move."

Bruce Tollner, Hakim's agent, said "he had two great opportunities. It just took him some time to evaluate them. The Saints were just a better fit."

Terms of the deal were not announced.

The 28-year-old Hakim, 5-foot-10, 189 pounds, has been a No. 3 receiver for most of his seven-year career with the St. Louis Rams and the Lions. Hakim started five games last season, and missed four with back, hip and finger injuries.

He was released by the Lions after they drafted receiver Mike Williams in the first round. Hakim was scheduled to make $2.5 million next season with the Lions.

Hakim is fondly remembered by Saints fans. While with the Rams, he fumbled away a punt late in a 2000 playoff game that sealed the Saints' first-ever postseason victory.

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