NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - No–brainer. Win-win. Smart move.
All apply to the Saints and the five-year extension of left tackle Terron Armstead. While Drew Brees' extension has rightfully gotten a lot of attention, quietly, getting Armstead inked up long term was a big priority for the organization.
For the Saints, getting out in front of Armstead's future free agency was paramount. He would have surely attracted other teams and when teams start getting into bidding wars for a player, crazy things happen. Getting the negotiation started and completed now allowed the Saints to be the only team talking to Armstead's camp and prevented him from hitting the insanity of the open market. Given, the enormous contracts handed this free agency, next season would likely only get more and more outrageous.
For Armstead, he doesn't have to go into the final year of his rookie deal concerned that an injury could impact his free agency value. Thus, be inclined to give anything less than 100%. He now has the security of what promises to be a very lucrative deal. For the record, per Spotrac, Buffalo's Cordy Glenn has the highest average yearly salary for a left tackle at $13.75 million a year.
Last month I wrote a blog that in the Sean Payton era they've hit four homeruns in the draft: Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Carl Nicks and Jimmy Graham. Armstead will be the fifth. He's started 27 games in two seasons and performed brilliantly last season despite dealing with an obvious injury.
For the Saints and Armstead, this is the way it's supposed to go. The team drafts a relative unknown, that unknown develops into a great player and when the time comes to reward him for those efforts, the team does so appropriately. No franchise tags. No holdouts. No disgruntled employees. Just good, sound NFL business.
If only they could all be this easy.