New Orleans Saints should let Terron Armstead walk in free agency

Terron Armstead, New Orleans Saints (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Terron Armstead, New Orleans Saints (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints struck gold with Terron Armstead in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He is a fantastic player and one of the best tackles in the league.

With that said, New Orleans would be better off not re-signing the 30-year-old, who is slated to hit free agency when the 2021 regular season comes to an end.

Why the New Orleans Saints should let Terron Armstead walk

Currently, the team is projected to be 60 million dollars over the cap for the 2022 season. While the Saints are no stranger to cap struggles and will likely be able to find a way out of it, this is still a large sum to be over.

Armstead is on pace to receive a large payday. Spotrac has his market value set at four years worth $95 million. This is the reason why the Saints should stay very far away from their cherished left tackle this offseason.

Giving a soon-to-be 31-year-old a four-year deal worth near triple-digits is a recipe for disaster. At the end of his contract, he would most likely be the oldest tackle in the league and while there are rare cases where older tackles can still play an elite level, it typically doesn’t work out well for teams who try to test this theory.

Trent Williams of the 49ers continues to be the best left tackle in all of football and he’s currently 33 years old, turning 34 in July. Williams has mostly stayed healthy, however, which Armstead has not. The Saints left tackle has appeared in just eight of the team’s 15 games in 2021, proving that he’s on the wrong side of 30.

The Saints have had a very good recent history of drafting solid offensive linemen. Yes, Ceaser Ruiz has been a complete disappointment, but Ryan Ramczyk is one of the best linemen in football, Erik Mccoy has been very solid except for a somewhat down season this year, and even Andrus Peat has been serviceable for the team, as much as some fans might disagree.

If the team were to move on from Armstead, they could draft an offensive lineman in the first three rounds and find their left tackle of the future. Maybe they think Landon Young is an option there or that they can move Ramczyk to the left side of the line, but drafting another beastly tackle is the best option.

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Letting Armstead walk in free agency probably isn’t a popular opinion but considering how deep in cap hell the Saints are paired with needing to pay players who can stay healthy, it’s best that the team moves on in the offseason. It’ll be hard but it’s the right decision.