Andrus Peat

Titans To Host OL Andrus Peat

The Titans have already made a number of moves along the offensive line, but more could be coming. Tennessee is set host veteran guard/tackle Andrus Peat, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Peat, 30, has spent his entire career in New Orleans since arriving in 2015. He has served as a full-time starter for almost that entire span (102 of 111 games), but his playing time saw a decline this past campaign. The former first-rounder started 12 contests in 2023, but he logged a 75% snap share – the lowest figure since his rookie season.

The Saints have been met with injury troubles up front in recent years, and Peat’s availability has been a constant in that. The 16 games he suited up for last year represented the most in his career, one which has seen a number of injuries lead to missed time. The Stanford product has primarily been used at left guard, but last season he manned the blindside with Trevor Penning struggling to earn a first-team spot.

Peat has generally not fared well in terms of PFF evaluations, but his 2023 grade (60.2) marked his second-highest since 2017. He would provide a starting-caliber option to Tennessee at both tackle and guard, flexibility which could be valuable as the team re-shapes much of its offensive line. Aaron Brewer has departed in free agency, while Andre Dillard, Chris Hubbard and Calvin Throckmorton are unsigned.

The Titans added center Lloyd Cushenberry on a four-year, $50MM deal last week; the former Bronco will be counted on as an anchor in the middle of Tennessee’s O-line. The team has also invested in Saahdiq Charles, who has experience at both guard spots. Adding Peat would provide further flexibility up front as the Titans aim to rebound from a poor showing on offense last season. Tennessee currently sits third in the league with nearly $47MM in cap space, so finances will not be an issue if the Peat visit results in the desire for a deal.

Saints Bench LT Trevor Penning

After starting the first five games of the 2023 season, Saints LT Trevor Penning has been benched, as Jeff Duncan of writes. Veteran James Hurst will man the blindside in New Orleans’ game against the Texans today.

Penning, the No. 19 overall pick of the 2022 draft, had his NFL debut delayed by nearly three months by a torn foot ligament, and he sustained a Lisfranc injury in Week 18 of the 2022 season that required multiple surgeries. All in all, Penning played in his just six games (one start) in his rookie campaign and saw a mere 58 snaps at left tackle.

To his credit, the Northern Iowa product has played every snap this season, but his performance has been a mixed bag at best. Out of the 62 offensive tackles who have played at least half of their team’s snaps in 2023, Penning ranks 47th, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics. And while the offensive line as a whole had a good day in the Saints’ 34-0 victory over the Patriots last week, Penning earned a subpar 54.7 grade, the lowest mark among the club’s front five.

After allowing two sacks and six pressures in New Orleans’ Week 1 contest against Tennessee, Penning has allowed just one sack and eight pressures over the past four games. That improvement, however, was not enough for the coaching staff as it seeks to coax more out of an offense that presently ranks 25th in the league in yardage and 22nd in scoring.

Hurst started 16 games at LT in Penning’s absence in 2022 and has started each of the Saints’ first five games of the current season, including four at left guard and one at right guard. If Andrus Peat — who is dealing with a groin injury and who missed the New England game due to a concussion — is unable to suit up, offseason acquisition Max Garcia would fill in at LG.

Duncan characterizes Penning’s demotion as a surprise, and it is currently unclear when he will be reinserted into the lineup.

Saints LG Andrus Peat In Danger Of Losing Starting Job?

Saints left guard Andrus Peat has dealt with a litany of injuries in his career, and he has averaged just ten games per season over the last four years. The 29-year-old has already suffered a quadriceps injury in this year’s training camp that has caused him to miss time, and Rod Walker of believes Peat may no longer be in line for a starting role.

James Hurst, who is capable of playing both guard and tackle, received first-team reps at left guard in Peat’s absence, and Walker says it would not surprise if Hurst gets the nod at LG when the regular season begins. Hurst operated as New Orleans’ primary left tackle in 2022, but with Trevor Penning set to take over that post after an injury-riddled rookie campaign, Hurst will move to a reserve role or to a different position on the O-line.

Peat, whom the Saints selected in the first round of the 2015 draft, also saw action at multiple positions in the early stages of his career, including run as the club’s starting LT in 2016 and 2017. Since 2018, he has settled in at left guard, and while Pro Football Focus’ metrics have never rated him as an above-average player at that position, he earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2018-20.

In March 2020, he inked a five-year, $57.5MM contract with the Saints, and thanks to mutliple restructures, his spot on this year’s roster is secure. But the most recent restructure wiped out the final year of the deal and turned it into a void year, so he will be eligible for free agency at season’s end. If he were to turn in a healthy, quality performance in 2023, he could land another lucrative pact next offseason, but his pursuit of such an accord has not gotten off to a great start.

Hurst, meanwhile, signed a one-year deal with the Saints in 2020 and showed enough during his first year in the Big Easy to land a three-year, $9MM contract in March 2021. He worked at both tackle spots and at left guard in 2021 before his extended look on the blind side last year. In each of the last two seasons, he has earned strong pass-blocking grades of 76.9 and 76.6 from Pro Football Focus, though his less stellar run-blocking grades have pulled down his overall marks.

NFL Restructures: Smith, Mahomes, Fitzpatrick, Peat, Thomas, Hines, Waller

We had news recently that Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith had agreed to restructure his contract with the team, reducing his massive $17.6MM cap hit. Thanks to Todd Archer of ESPN, we now have some details on the deal. Smith was headed into the last year of an eight-year agreement, so his restructure essentially functions as a one-year contract.

The newly restructured contract will be a one-year, $6MM deal with a potential maximum value of $17MM. He received a $3MM signing bonus for the changes and has his $3MM base salary guaranteed. The deal rapidly escalates from there with several playing time incentives. Smith will receive an additional $1MM bonus for each of these snap share thresholds: 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, and 90%. This means that if he plays over 90% of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, he will receive $9MM, one for each of the nine levels.

He can also receive playoff incentives, 75% of which are paid off of wins alone. The remaining 25% is paid if he plays over half of the team’s offensive snaps in those wins. He would receive $500,000 for each playoff win in which he plays the majority of the snaps. With four possible playoff wins, that’s a total of $2MM in playoff bonuses. Those plus the $9MM from the playing time incentives and the $6MM guaranteed at signing push the contract to it’s maximum value of $17MM.

Here is some other news on restructures from around the league:

  • The Chiefs created some financial breathing room by restructuring star quarterback Patrick Mahomes‘s massive contract, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The team converted $12MM of his 2023 roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating $9.6MM in cap space for the season.
  • Yates also reports that the Steelers found some cap space by restructuring the contract of a star. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick agreed to a restructured deal that would reward the Steelers with $10.07MM of additional cap space in 2023 by converting $13.42MM of his 2023 salary into a signing bonus.
  • The Saints were able to gain some cap room by restructuring the deal of guard Andrus Peat, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. The team converted $4MM of his 2023 salary into a signing bonus, reducing his salary from $11.83MM to $7.83MM. He then took an additional pay cut to reduce his 2023 base salary to $1.5MM as the team voided out his 2024 salary, adding three more voidable years to the deal. The moves resulted in an additional $9.53MM in cap space for New Orleans.
  • Another NFC South player reportedly took a pay cut as Panthers tight end Ian Thomas agreed to a restructured deal, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. In his new deal, Thomas will earn $3MM in 2023 and $3.65MM in 2024. The deal creates an additional $2.88MM in cap space.
  • Another report from Yates tells us that the Bills have agreed to a renegotiated contract with running back Nyheim Hines. While the details are not yet available, it entails a $1MM signing bonus and the opportunity to earn $4.79MM in bonuses, clearing out some cap space for Buffalo while providing some incentives for Hines next season.
  • Lastly, following the tight end’s trade to the Giants, Darren Waller has agreed to a renegotiated deal with his new team, according to Yates. New York has converted $9.84MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus. The move creates $7.87MM in additional cap space for the Giants.

NFC Injury Rumors: Rams, Peat, Buccaneers

Injuries continue to hamper the Rams in the final stretch of the season. News earlier this week confirmed that calf strains to center Brian Allen and wide receiver Ben Skowronek “are severe enough to sideline them for the rest of the season,” according to team staff writer Stu Jackson. That leaves Los Angeles down two more starters as the Super Bowl hangover continues.

Allen has had a disappointing season, health-wise. After missing five weeks while dealing with a knee injury early on in the year, then two more with a thumb issue, the calf strain has finally put an end to Allen’s tumultuous 2022 season. Starting guard Coleman Shelton, who has plenty of past experience at center, moved inside when Allen left last week’s game and will continue to start at center for the remainder of the season. To replace Shelton at right guard, the team will choose between backup linemen Bobby Evans, Oday Aboushi, and Zach Thomas.

Not that there was much damage left to do to the battle-worn Rams, but Skowronek is yet another damaging loss to the team. With starting receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson already on injured reserve, Skowronek was Los Angeles’s leading wideout still on the active roster. With the former Notre Dame tight end joining Kupp and Robinson as out for the remainder of the year, quarterback Baker Mayfield will be passing to Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Brandon Powell, Austin Trammell, and Lance McCutcheon.

Allen and Skowronek add their names to the litany of Rams’ starters who have gone down for the year. Here are a few other injury rumors from around the NFC, focusing on a couple teams in the South:

  • Saints starting guard Andrus Peat left Saturday’s win over the Browns with an ankle injury and did not return. Peat is no stranger to injuries, having struggled with them throughout his NFL career. His absence, though, puts New Orleans in a tough spot as it succeeded in remaining in the NFC South race with Saturday’s victory. Already down starting right guard Cesar Ruiz, who is out for the year with a Lisfranc injury, the Saints are having to put together a patchwork offensive line. Peat’s usual backup, Calvin Throckmorton, started the game in place of Ruiz. With backup guard Lewis Kidd inactive, New Orleans had to turn to Josh Andrews, a practice squad center who had been a gameday elevation. The severity of the injury has yet to be determined, but an extended absence from Peat would make it even more difficult for the Saints to clinch a playoff spot down the stretch.
  • The Buccaneers ruled out three starters for today’s matchup with the Cardinals, according to Greg Auman of FOX Sports. Starting tackle Donovan Smith, defensive tackle Vita Vea, and cornerback Jamel Dean have all been ruled out, as has outside linebacker Carl Nassib. With the bad news comes the good news that Tampa Bay’s other starting tackle Tristan Wirfs is expected to play today. Backup tackle Josh Wells, who was also questionable coming into this week, will likely start in place of Smith. Vea’s role should be filled by Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Dean will likely be replaced by a combination of Sean Murphy-Bunting, Dee Delaney, and Zyon McCollum.

Saints Rule Out Five Starters For Week 7

While their opponent has added a pair of contributors in DeAndre Hopkins and Robbie Anderson, the Saints will come into Thursday down five more starters than they were hoping for, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Injuries continue to plague New Orleans as it has ruled out wide receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, tight end Adam Trautman, guard Andrus Peat, and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Peat suffered a pectoral strain, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The Saints have not placed the eighth-year blocker on IR, but he is week-to-week at this point. Thomas also remains on the team’s active roster, but the team considered placing him on IR due to the foot injury he sustained, Katherine Terrell of tweets. The Saints instead opted to keep Thomas active in case he beat his recovery timetable. After missing just two games over his first four seasons, Thomas has now missed 28 games since 2020.

The Saints, who were hoping to get back Thomas from a three-week absence and Landry from a two-week absence, will now go into their Week 7 matchup with the Cardinals missing two of their starting slate of receivers for the third week in a row. Rookie first-round pick Chris Olave is set to return after missing time last week with a concussion that knocked him out of the team’s Week 5 win over the Seahawks.

Olave is set to see a huge share of targets with Thomas and Landry out, as will backup receivers Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith. Behind star running back Alvin Kamara and Juwan Johnson, who transitioned to tight end in the NFL after playing wide receiver at Penn State, Callaway and Smith were the top targets last week for Andy Dalton, who has been filling in for injured starting quarterback Jameis Winston. When Olave was in the week before, he matched Kamara for the team lead in targets with six apiece. Smith and Callaway trailed the two with four and three, respectively.

Lattimore is also set to miss his second straight game with an abdomen injury. In his absence last week, the Saints asked veteran Bradley Roby to fill in opposite Paulson Adebo as a starting cornerback. They’re also able to get some help at corner from the practice squad with veteran defensive back Chris Harris who has been called up for two games so far this year.

The Saints will have tough hill to climb in a game that could be a big step in staying in the thick of the NFC South race. The five missing starters will be in addition to the nine players currently recovering on injured reserve. If New Orleans can keep the division in reach until it starts getting big contributors back on the field, the Saints could have a path back to the playoffs after missing out last year.

Saints WR Michael Thomas Out For Week 4; QB Andy Dalton To Start

OCTOBER 1: The Saints confirmed on Saturday that Winston is indeed out, meaning that Dalton will make his Saints debut Sunday morning.

SEPTEMBER 30: When they take on the Vikings in London on Sunday, the Saints will be without at least their top wide receiver, and, in all likelihood, their starting quarterback as well. Head coach Dennis Allen confirmed on Friday that Michael Thomas is out for the game due to a foot injury; Jameis Winston, meanwhile, did not practice for the third consecutive day and is listed as doubtful. 

Thomas had just returned to full health after missing most of the past two seasons with lingering ankle issues. His presence, along with that of free agent signing Jarvis Landry and first-round rookie Chris Olave, led to heightened expectations for the Saints’ offense. The former Offensive Player of the Year started all three of New Orleans’ games to start the year, recording 16 catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

Winston has been dealing with spinal fractures so far this season, but this would be the first game action he missed in the event he cannot suit up. That, too, would represent a notable setback given his season-ending ACL tear from last season. His absence, along with that of Thomas, greatly contributed to the Saints’ passing offense finishing as the league’s worst in 2021.

To guard against a repeat of that taking place, even if Winston were to miss time, New Orleans added Andy Dalton in free agency. Given the impression the 34-year-old made on the team during training camp, it would come as no surprise if he got the nod over a banged-up Winston on Sunday. Allen further indicated that the Saints are prepared to have Dalton make his New Orleans debut when speaking to the media.

“Our plan right now is to have Andy ready to go,” he said, via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell“We’ll see how things go overnight, but Andy will be ready to go if that’s the direction that we go.” 

Dalton spent one season with the Cowboys in 2020 and the Bears in 2021 as he has transitioned into a backup. He still saw a combined total of 19 appearances and 15 starts over that stretch, though, earning him a one-year deal with the Saints worth up to $6MM. It appears Sunday will be his first opportunity to demonstrate his value, albeit with a shorthanded group of pass-catchers available to him.

The Saints also ruled out guard Andrus Peat and safety Marcus Maye due to a concussion and rib injury, respectively. With that pair, along with Thomas and (probably) Winston sidelined, they will look to get to 2-2 on the year against Minnesota.

Saints Restructure Andrus Peat’s Contract

The salary cap gymnastics continue for the Saints, as they have made another contract move. The team has pushed a further $8MM in cap hit down the road, this time via a restructure of left guard Andrus Peat‘s deal, according to ESPN’s Mike Triplett (Twitter link). 

[Related: Saints Create $26MM+ In Cap Space Via Restructures]

New Orleans entered this offseason a projected $74MM over the cap, but it was widely expected that re-working a number of notable players’ deals would at least get them most of the way to compliance. So far, the team has done just that with Michael Thomas and Ryan Ramczyk

As Triplett details, the Saints have converted $9.73MM of Peat’s base salary into a roster bonus, which is fully guaranteed. They have also added two void years to the deal. As a result, the 28-year-old’s cap hit is now scheduled to jump to just under $18.4MM for the 2023 and 2024 seasons; there will also be a cap charge of nearly $4MM in 2025, the first void year of the restructured pact.

Peat, a first round pick in 2015, has been a mainstay on the Saints’ o-line throughout his career. He has seen snaps at both tackle spots, but has primarily been used as a left guard, a position he has been quite effective at. He signed a five-year, $57.5MM deal to stay in New Orleans in March 2020; he rewarded the team for its investment by earning a third straight Pro Bowl appearance that season.

2021 didn’t go as well for Peat, as he was limited to six games due to a pectoral injury. Still, he figures to be part of the Saints’ long-term plans, so he was a logical choice for a re-worked deal. With more maneuvering still to be done, other cost-cutting moves are likely in New Orleans.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/30/21

Here is the Week 8 Saturday minor move blitz:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets 

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints’ Andrus Peat To Undergo Surgery

THURSDAY: Peat did suffer a torn pec, according to’s Nick Underhill, who notes the veteran guard will undergo surgery Friday. While Peat has missed his share of games as a pro, this season stands to be his longest absence.

TUESDAY: The Saints fear that left guard Andrus Peat is dealing with a torn pectoral muscle (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). The injury forced Peat out of Monday night’s win over Seattle and could be a season-ender.

[RELATED: Saints’ Lutz Done For Year]

Peat, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2015 draft, has been a Saints regular for the past seven years with appearances at left tackle, left guard, right tackle, and even some snaps as an extra blocker/tight end. For much of that span, the Saints ranked No. 1 in the league in points per game while surrendering only 124 sacks.

Peat started in all six of his games this year, giving him a grand total of 79 starts at every O-Line spot, save for center. It’s a frustrating setback for the 27-year-old (28 in November), but he’s bounced back from injuries before. In 2019, a Pro Bowl year, he missed the final six games of the year with a broken arm. He returned in 2020 to capture another Pro Bowl nod, his third consecutive honor.

While the Saints await confirmation on Peat’s injury, they’ll deploy Calvin Throckmorton at left guard against the Buccaneers.