After nine seasons, Marcus Sherels is leaving the Vikings.

A source said Thursday the free-agent cornerback and return specialist will sign a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Terms were not immediately available on Sherels, who made $1.4 million last season with the Vikings.

A source said the Vikings wanted to bring Sherels back but he chose to go to the Saints because he believes they have a good chance at winning the Super Bowl. About half a dozen teams showed interest in Sherels.

Sherels joined the Vikings in 2010 after being undrafted out of the University of Minnesota. He was the team’s longest-tenured player, along with defensive end Everson Griffen, who also was a rookie in 2010.

Sherels has been one of the NFL’s top punt returners. He averaged 12.0 yards per return last season, the fourth time he had averaged 11 or more yards in a season.