Larry Warford - Do we want him back?

Andrus Peat, G, New Orleans Saints

The deal: Five years, $57.5 million
Grade: C+

Where did this come from? The Saints have a habit of making splash signings for big money in free agency when we think they’re pressed against the cap, but I didn’t see Peat coming back on this sort of deal. Not only is he coming back, but the Saints are giving him the fifth-largest average annual salary of any guard in football. I thought the former first-round pick might attract free-agent interest from a team looking to move him back to tackle, which would have bumped up his price tag, but the Saints are quite happy with Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk on the edge.

I didn’t see a Peat return on the books because the Saints seemed set at guard. Nick Easton was signed last year from the Vikings to take over at center for the retiring Max Unger, but when the Saints grabbed Erik McCoy in the second round of the draft, New Orleans installed him at center and used Easton as an overqualified utility interior lineman. With Peat leaving, it seemed logical that the Saints would push Easton into the starting lineup at guard and play him with the incumbent Larry Warford.

Now that plan doesn’t seem quite as clear. Saints reporters Katherine Terrell and Mike Triplett were wondering whether Peat’s signing could bring an end to Warford’s tenure with the team. Viewed from that angle, a Peat return could make sense. Warford has a cap hit of $12.9 million in the final year of his contract, and the Saints could free up $8.5 million by cutting or trading the former Lions starter. Given the paucity of available guards on the open market, Warford might have some trade value.

Even if Peat does replace Warford, this is a lot of money for a guard who hasn’t played a full 16-game season and didn’t play well in 2019. The 2015 to 2018 version of Peat was on pace to get this sort of deal, and at 26, he still has plenty of time to continue developing. If the Saints use this to move on from Warford, it’s a C+; if they keep Warford and devote this much money to guards and interior linemen, I’d lean toward a C.

I wonder if he would want to come back…

I don’t remember if there was a falling out or we just didn’t pursue him. Did we offer a contract ala Suh or did we just let him walk and there is bad blood now? 3 straight Pro Bowls since he left, as much as anyone puts stock in that.

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He hated Ron Prince with a passion and he’s gone.

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I doubt the Lions would want to absorb that $12.9 mil cap hit for this year, the last one on his contract. The Saints’d have to cut him and he’d have to agree to a sizable pay cut to come here, which I’m thinking ain’t likely.

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As long as Ron Prince isn’t the OL coach, I’d say yes.

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He’d help our run game.

I believe he’d only cost us 8.5 million for the year…NO restructured his contract a couple years ago and they’re responsible for the bonus money.

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Warford and new V guy would be awesome together. We damn sure could run behind the right side of the line, especially in short yardage situations

Draft us a nasty RB and get it on!

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I would take him back for a cheap deal

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I think he was a little too slow of foot for the incoming outside zone scheme we were running at the time. With Bevell we do a lot more inside zone stuff so it’s designed to be more one cut and go quickly instead of student body right with Abdullah. Warford would be fine in this system. Again, there is no future for this staff if they lay another egg. I do not see us saving squat for 2021 by the time we hit snap one in September.

Quinn does like to be in those positions after the draft and when other teams caps are tight, where we have room. A stud falls in the draft at a position where they have a high priced vet and the calculus changes. Quinn knows he may be playing with someone else’s 2021 draft picks, so it would not surprise me at all if we see some good old fashioned desperation moves before Sept.

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It was a mistake to let him go. Another mistake would be to act/pay like he will perform as he did the last three years. Too late, I’d pass.