Saints: What the Ryan Ramczyk extension means for Terron Armstead
By Justin Fried
The New Orleans Saints officially agreed to a record-breaking five-year, $96 million extension with star right tackle Ryan Ramczyk last Wednesday. But what effect might that signing have on left tackle Terron Armstead?
Ramczyk was one of a number of standout players eyeing a new contract this offseason. And of them all, he always seemed the likeliest to get his deal done before the start of the season.
That’s exactly what happened as the All-Pro tackle received a hefty sum of money to keep him in New Orleans for the foreseeable future.
With Ramczyk now locked up, the Saints could shift their attention to others such as Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Willams. But what about Terron Armstead? What does the future hold for him?
Will the Saints re-sign Terron Armstead after extending Ryan Ramczyk?
A third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Armstead has been a mainstay of the Saints’ offensive line for close to a decade now. While he’s battled his fair share of injuries, Armstead remains one of the best left tackles in football.
That was the case when he signed his five-year, $65 million extension that made him the highest-paid tackle in the NFL back in 2016, and it remains the case a half-decade later.
Armstead’s current contract is among the most team-friendly in the sport as the salary cap has exploded since he originally signed his extension.
But all that means is that he’ll be looking for one final large payday in the near future.
There is no quick, easy answer that will predict what the Saints ultimately decide to do with Armstead. There are arguments in favor of both sides.
On one hand, the Saints’ offensive line has developed into one of the true strengths of the roster and there likely isn’t a better tackle duo in the NFL than Ramczyk and Armstead.
Armstead has put to rest many of his injury concerns over the last two seasons and, even as he approaches 30, is undoubtedly one of the best left tackles in the league.
He’s someone you want to keep around at all costs. The problem, however, might be the cost.
If the Saints want to keep Armstead, they might have to be willing to pay upwards of $20-23 million per season — essentially what Trent Williams is getting paid.
General manager Mickey Loomis and company navigated a tricky cap situation this offseason, but even with the cap set to increase by a significant margin next offseason, the Saints are still projected to be over the cap.
The advantage the team has is that both Erik McCoy and Cesar Ruiz are still on their rookie deals. Perhaps that means they could afford to pay both Ramczyk and Armstead.
But would that cost them a player like Marcus Williams? It’s certainly possible.
The Saints could always consider moving on from Armstead and shifting Ramczyk over to left tackle. After all, his contract is already the equivalent of a top-tier left tackle.
However, that would require the Saints to lean on a veteran like James Hurst or to address the position in next year’s draft.
They have their options. But Armstead wants to be back and the Saints would love to have him back as well.
It’s far from a guarantee, but if you’re placing bets, bank on Terron Armstead getting his well-deserved extension at some point in the near future.