Saints All-Time Lists

Saints’ 6 best free-agent signings in the Sean Payton era

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 14: Head Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints on the sidelines during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Saints 23-21. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 14: Head Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints on the sidelines during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Saints 23-21. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Larry Warford, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints had quite the run with Sean Payton at the helm. Payton made the decision to step away from the organization in the 2022 offseason and in doing so, the greatest era in Saints history came to a close.

Let’s take a look at the six best free-agent signings under Payton’s tutelage, which ranged from 2006-2021.

6. Larry Warford (Signed in 2017)

After getting drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, Larry Warford went on to have an impressive four-year career in the Motor City. He placed third in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race in 2013 and it was a big deal when the right guard hit free agency in the 2017 offseason.

The Saints signed Warford to a four-year deal and Payton had to be beaming with pride knowing the offensive line would continue to be a major strength in the Big Easy. Warford made it to a Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with the team despite missing at least one game in every season. In 2020, Warford opted out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He never played another snap with the Saints but there’s no debating how important he was for the Saints’ o-line during those three years. He was a staple at right guard and was definitely one of the best free-agent signings the team had under Sean Payton.

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