(AP Photo) Bushrod's value may have just been defined.
With one reported agreement, the market is clearing up for left tackle Jermon Bushrod and the Saints.
In New York, the Giants will reportedly sign left tackle Will Beatty to a long term deal worth five years, $38.75 million with $19 million guaranteed. It's a deal that essentially averages out to $7.75 million a season.
That's the number the Saints should use for Bushrod as both he and Beatty have comparable resumes.
Profootballfocus.com (the best in the business when it comes to truly grading players) had Beatty ranked third in their free agent left tackles list. Bushrod was ranked sixth.
That ranking was based on their 2012 performance where Beatty earned a +22.6 grade, while Bushrod slipped to a +1.5 grade. But 2012 may not be the fairest comparison for Bushrod or any Saints player for that matter.
Plus, Bushrod has a longer body of work and has been a solid starter for four seasons. Beatty has only been starting for two.
Both players are similar in age: Bushrod (28), Beatty (27). Both players have won Super Bowl rings protecting elite quarterbacks.
Add it all up and Bushrod and Beatty are pretty close in comparison. Thus, both should be similar in their respective paychecks.
The deal makes Beatty the ninth highest-paid left tackle in football. That's right about where I would put Bushrod. He's certainly not elite upper-echelon player, but he is in that 9th-12th range of the league's best left tackles.
If Bushrod wants more than what Beatty received, the Saints should let him walk. He's not worth it.
But if Bushrod is good with that number, the Saints should lock him up. There's no sense in playing with Drew Brees' blindside if they don't have to.
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