The Saints now have another member of their impact 2017 draft class committed long-term. Ryan Ramczyk agreed to terms on a five-year, $96MM extension Wednesday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).
This megadeal comes with $60MM in guarantees, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter), and will tie Ramczyk to the Saints through the 2026 season. This checks a key offseason box for the Saints, who now have Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara signed to top-market deals from their 2017 class.
Ramczyk’s $19.2MM AAV makes him the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle. He eclipses the Eagles’ Lane Johnson, who held this distinction for nearly two years. Ramczyk’s $60MM guarantee also surpasses Johnson’s ($55MM). Among right tackles, only Ramczyk and Johnson have guarantees surpassing $35MM.
Extending the All-Pro blocker loomed as New Orleans’ top offseason priority, even though Marshon Lattimore is also going into a contract year. With Ramczyk locked down, it will be interesting to see how the Saints proceed with the Pro Bowl cornerback. Lattimore (Round 1) and Marcus Williams (Round 2) are in contract years from the ’17 class. The Saints let breakout pass rusher Trey Hendrickson (Round 3) defect to the Bengals in free agency.
The Saints chose Ramczyk with the pick acquired in the first Brandin Cooks trade (No. 32 overall, from the Patriots) and plugged the Wisconsin prospect into their starting lineup opposite Terron Armstead. Ramcyzk became a quick study and has started all 63 games he’s played as a pro. While the ex-Badger blocker is without a Pro Bowl, that is not uncommon; right tackles are often overlooked for such honors. Pro Football Focus graded Ramczyk as a top-10 overall tackle in each of his first three seasons and slotted him first in 2019. Last season marked a step back, via PFF, but Ramczyk still graded 20th among edge protectors.
Ramczyk, 27, proved vital during Drew Brees‘ final seasons and will certainly play a pivotal role in Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill‘s success under center. The Saints, whose entire starting O-line consists of former first-round picks, now have Ramczyk, Armstead and guard Andrus Peat signed to veteran contracts. Armstead, however, is due for free agency in 2022. Moving Ramczyk to left tackle after this season could be a viable scenario, should the Saints move on from Armstead. Ramczyk’s average salary would rank fifth among left tackles.
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