The New Orleans Saints received some good news on Thursday, as guard Tim Lelito officially signed his one-year restricted free agent tender offer.
Tim Lelito was originally tendered on March 9 with a $1.67 million offer. However, Lelito revealed to WWL’s Lyons Yellin that he turned down an offer from the Dallas Cowboys, saying that the Saints had much more to offer.
"“You have to weigh your options and it’s a gamble,” he said. “So you can go somewhere else and be a backup for a couple of years with less money or you can try to go into a one-year tender and do the best you can and hopefully come out with a little better contract after it.”"
Entering 2015, Lelito was announced as a contender for the starting left guard position with the departure of Ben Grubbs. He was able to win the full-time gig, and went on to start in 13 games for the black and gold. Lelito was a stronger run blocker, and played extremely well towards the end of the season. He appeared in 81.8 percent of the team’s offensive snaps (969).
Lelito has been around since 2013, when he joined the Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Grand Valley State. Tim Lelito will turn 27 in July, and officially becomes the third guard on the Saints roster for the 2016 season with Cyril Lemon and Senio Kelemete. The team showed little to no interest in the free agent guard market, which could mean there will be at least one offensive guard drafted next week.