The New Orleans Saints have been making money moves this offseason, and Larry Warford was just another casualty of the team’s limited cap space.
Every since the drafting of Cesar Ruiz, a guard/center from Michigan, it was obvious that Larry Warford’s time with the New Orleans Saints was all but done. Why was Warford the casualty? Well, the team had just signed Andrus Peat to a nice, long-term deal.
Although many may have preferred the team retain Warford, Peat is a young and more versatile guard. Peat was graded far worse by Pro Football Focus as Warford has ended a top-25 guard for all three of his seasons with the Saints.
This move will save the Saints more than $7 million against the cap. That’s the reason it was a necessity. Warford’s dead cap will now cost the Saints about $5.1 million, far less than he would’ve cost them making around $13 million.
Adding Ruiz and subtracting Warford seemed to always be the plan. It became especially obvious after the Saints continued to spend this offseason.
Re-signing Taysom Hill to a deal that includes two years of making over eight figures along with Emmanuel Sanders’ two-year addition and re-signing Drew Brees as well all hurt Warford’s shot at a fourth season in New Orleans.
The Saints had many other needs and didn’t have to let the Pro Bowler go when they were called to the clock with the 24th pick in the draft. Players like Tee Higgins and Patrick Queen were still on the board and could’ve solved other issues facing this team.
However, as Mickey Loomis typically does, he found a way to get the best value and continue the team’s dynamic offseason. Loomis has been a huge reason for the Saints’ three consecutive NFC South titles.
Now, the team must venture to sign their rookies and potentially add another asset. If the team swapped Warford, started Ruiz and then brought in Logan Ryan and their rookies in this team, it’d just be another testament of Loomis’ greatness as a general manager.
Expect more moves in the not-too-distant future.