The sides agreed on a five-year contract worth $75MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets, with Schefter adding the Dolphins will guarantee Armstead $43.37MM (Twitter link). Armstead can earn up to $87.5MM on the deal through incentives.
While Armstead delayed his decision by a bit, keeping the door open with New Orleans, he will head to Florida to give the Dolphins a high-end left tackle option. Pro Football Focus ranked the Dolphins’ offensive line 32nd in 2021. The unit featured multiple starters change positions either ahead of last season or during the campaign. Armstead’s role figures to be solidified.
Armstead operated as the Saints’ starting left tackle for the past eight seasons. While the former third-round pick missed some time due to injury, including an extended stretch last season, he hit the market as one of the top players available. The 30-year-old blocker is a three-time Pro Bowler who played a key role in the Saints’ late-2010s resurgence. Elbow and knee trouble limited Armstead in 2021, a season in which he played eight games. The decorated veteran underwent knee surgery this offseason.
This contract is similar to the one he inked back in 2016, a five-year deal worth $64.5MM. While quality left tackles in their prime do not hit the market often, the Saints prioritized the younger Ryan Ramczyk by extending their right tackle on a top-level deal last year. Ramczyk’s contract contains escalators that would change the terms of the deal if the former first-rounder excels at left tackle. Regardless of New Orleans’ plan with its well-regarded right tackle, this ends a five-year Armstead-Ramczyk partnership.
Miami’s left tackle spot has been in flux since the team dealt Laremy Tunsil to Houston in 2019. Successor option Austin Jackson, a 2020 first-round pick, has since been moved to guard. The Dolphins used 2021 second-round pick Liam Eichenberg at left tackle extensively last season, but the Notre Dame product will not keep the gig. Armstead and Connor Williams have committed to Miami, with the latter likely claiming one of the team’s guard jobs. The Dolphins moved Robert Hunt from tackle to guard during the 2021 offseason, and PFF graded Hunt as the team’s best O-line regular last season.
The team may not be done up front. They are planning to add a center, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. But new running backs Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds already have multiple well-paid blockers set to clear lanes for them.