Saints Sign OL Cesar Ruiz To Extension

SEPTEMBER 17: Details on the Ruiz pact are in, courtesy of ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. The 24-year-old will see fully guaranteed base salaries of $1.33MM and $1.35MM over each of the next two seasons, along with an $8MM roster bonus in 2024. Ruiz’s 2025 salary ($9.15MM) will become guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. Overall, his cap hits will remain flat beginning next season, ranging from $10.65MM to $11MM.

SEPTEMBER 9: Cesar Ruiz is sticking in New Orleans for the foreseeable future. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Saints have signed their offensive lineman to a four-year extension. 

[RELATED: Saints OL Cesar Ruiz Still Has Potential Future In New Orleans]

The contract is worth $44MM and has a max value of $46MM. The deal also includes $30MM in guaranteed money. Ruiz was set to hit free agency following the 2023 season after previously having his fifth-year option declined.

Ruiz hasn’t necessarily lived up to his first-round billing through three seasons in the NFL. He became a full-time starter during his sophomore season and has started all 31 of his appearances over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus hasn’t been fond of his performance, never ranking him higher than 56th at his position (among 82 qualifying guards in 2021).

This past season, Ruiz ranked 59th among 77 qualifiers at offensive guard. He was sidelined for the final three games of the 2022 season after suffering a Lisfranc injury. The front office declined his fifth-year option back in May.

Despite his struggles and the Saints’ lack of commitment, general manager Mickey Loomis implied this offseason that Ruiz could still have a future with the team. The executive described the lineman as an “ascending player” and hinted that Ruiz could be a candidate for an extension. Mike Triplett of notes that the lineman was a standout during training camp and preseason, while Jeff Duncan of believes Ruiz “enjoyed one of the best camps of any player on the roster.”

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