WEDNESDAY, 8:07am: Armstead’s five-year deal will be worth $64.5MM, with $38MM guaranteed for injury and $25MM fully guaranteed, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The average annual value on the contract is $12.9MM, which makes Armstead the league’s third highest-paid tackle, behind Trent Williams ($13.2MM) and newly-extended Bills tackle Cordy Glenn ($13MM).
TUESDAY, 3:35pm: Armstead has officially signed his new deal, according to Josina Anderson (Twitter link).
2:19pm: The Saints have reached an agreement on a contract extension with one of the most important players on their offense — not quarterback Drew Brees, but left tackle Terron Armstead. According to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Armstead will be signing a five-year extension with the Saints today, locking him up through the 2021 season.
Armstead, 24, was selected 75th overall in the 2013 draft by the Saints, and after appearing in just six games in his rookie year, he emerged as the team’s full-time left tackle in 2014. For his career, he has made 29 starts for the club, including 27 within the last two seasons.
Since entering New Orleans’ starting lineup, Armstead has developed into one of the more reliable left tackles in the NFL. In 2015, Pro Football Focus ranked him third overall out of 77 qualified tackles, assigning him top-three grades as both a run blocker and a pass blocker. Only Joe Thomas of the Browns and Tyron Smith of the Cowboys placed ahead of Armstead.
As a member of the 2013 draft class, Armstead has outperformed most of the tackles who were selected ahead of him that year, including first-rounders like Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. Because he was a third-round pick, Armstead didn’t have a fifth-year option attached to his rookie contract, so while the Chiefs and Jaguars were deciding whether to pick up 2017 options on their respective 2013 draftees, the Saints were working to extend their player.
Armstead’s old contract had called for a $1.671MM base salary in 2016, as a result of the proven performance escalator he earned for his performance to date. The new agreement may not increase his 2016 salary, but it certainly figures to increase his 2016 earnings, via signing and/or roster bonuses.
Saints head coach Sean Payton said back in December that he wouldn’t trade Armstead for any other lineman in the league, a comment the tackle’s agent probably brought up once or twice during negotiations. In his preview of New Orleans’ offseason earlier this year, PFR’s Dallas Robinson suggested that an extension for Armstead might not be quite as expensive as long-term deals for fellow tackles Tyron Smith ($12.2MM) and Trent Williams ($13.2MM). We should soon find it whether that’s indeed the case.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.