The Saints can be expected to explore out-of-house options now that their starting left tackle will be out for at least the early portion of the season. Ryan Clady is perhaps the best free agent tackle left in free agency. Will Beatty and the versatile Austin Pasztor are also available.
Alternatively, the Saints could promote from within and move first round pick Ryan Ramczyk from the right side to the left. Zach Strief, who was supposed to be the main backup to Armstead and Ramczyk, could slide into the starting role at right tackle. However, in a year where the Saints are hoping to get back into the championship picture with Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson, it stands to reason that they will want some better protection on the O-Line.
Armstead, 27 in August, missed nine games due to injury in 2016. However, he still graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 21 tackle on the year. In 2015, Armstead played in 13 of 16 possible regular season games and earned one of the highest scores of any tackle in the NFL.
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