NFC South Notes: Saints, Bucs, Brady

Despite the three Pro Bowl selections on his resume, Larry Warford‘s standing with the Saints is in flux. The Saints have been pondering his status throughout the offseason, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic.

Warford has started in every game he’s played throughout his career, including these last three Pro Bowl seasons with the Saints. Still, Sean Payton followed through on his promise to prioritize the interior line by drafting center Cesar Ruiz in the first round. He’s also indicated that Ruiz could be a first-stringer and that Warford will have to compete for his starting gig.

Warford is still on the right side of 30 (he turns 29 in June), but the Saints aren’t sold on him. It’s a situation to monitor as he enters the final year of the four-year, $34MM deal he inked as a free agent in 2017. If released, Warford would count for $5.125MM in dead money versus $7.75MM in cap savings.

The Saints are giving real thought to shedding that deal, especially with a combined $28MM committed to Terron Armstead and Andrus Peat in 2020. They also have an extension on the horizon for standout tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who just recently had his 2021 option exercised.

More from the NFC South:

  • When Tom Brady visited Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, he accidentally walked into the wrong house. He also triggered some questions regarding league rules, since the visit occurred during the league’s “dark period” prior to virtual offseason activities. However, the league looked into it and determined that there were no rule violations, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • The NFL has also determined that the Saints‘ signing of Jameis Winston will not count against their compensatory formula (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football). It’s not clear whether Winston’s signing was actually borderline in this regard – his deal was reportedly signed after the deadline for the compensatory pick formula, which should have made this an automatic. In any case, Winston is now set to watch and learn from Drew Brees on his one-year contract.
  • Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are hoping to finally figure out their kicking situation. They’re hopeful that Matt Gay will improve this year, GM Jason Licht says, but the Bucs are also “definitely planning on adding competition,” (via the Tampa Bay Times). Gay made only 27 of 35 field goals last year, but he did nail five of his tries from 50 yards out.
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7 comments on “NFC South Notes: Saints, Bucs, Brady

  1. DarkSide830

    oh no two people agreed to meet with each other. what ever are we to do

    • crosseyedlemon

      I’m actually shocked that the bumbling cops in Florida didn’t swoop down and make a home invasion arrest. A high profile player like Tom would be a great catch for them.

  2. wagner13

    Why did the Saints draft Ruiz when they had three perfectly good starters in the interior? If they didn’t want to pay Warford, why did they sign Peat to a massive extension? Are there any Saints fans that can explain the rationale behind this line of thinking?

  3. king beas

    Should’ve let peat go while warford is older he’s also better. I think the Ruiz pick was the right idea when there’s no many holes on the roster add depth that can fill in for future seasons.

    • wagner13

      Yeah, I’m just so perplexed by the Peat extension. Only elite guards like DeCastro and Yanda should be receiving $33 million guaranteed. Peat just isn’t at that level

  4. CubsRebsSaints

    Agreed. I thought letting Peat go was a no-brainer. He breaks his leg every year, and hasn’t played up to his #13 overall draft slot. Also, Nick Easton’s 4 year 24mil should be shed without hesitation.

  5. Ak185

    Agree with the others that Warford is a much better player than Peat. Peat is acceptable, but his status as an in-house pick as opposed to a free agent rehabilitation project safeguards his position. My question would be why they gave him the extension if they planned to draft Ruiz or another interior lineman this year. That makes it seem as if they are determined to be rid of Warford despite his strong play and superiority to their other interior starters.

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