NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints free agent left guard Andrus Peat has agreed to a five-year contract keeping him in New Orleans and virtually ensuring the club's entire 2019 starting offensive line would remain intact for the coming season.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis announced the agreement Friday and disclosed the length of the deal.
A person familiar with the contract said it is worth a total of $57.5 million — an average of $11.5 million per season. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial terms have not been released.
“There was some interest from other teams," Peat said on a conference call.
"Ever since I was drafted here, I wanted to play my whole career with the Saints. So, I’m just really excited to be able to continue my career here with the Saints.”
The Saints drafted the 6-foot-7, 316-pound Peat 13th overall in 2015 out of Stanford, where he was a two-year starter at left tackle.
Peat's versatility has been useful to New Orleans, which converted him to a guard but has continued to also use him as a substitute tackle as needed.
Peat said he was not actively seeking an opportunity to play more at tackle and said other teams that explored signing him largely discussed keeping him as a guard. He did not specify which other teams shows interest in him.
“I’ve definitely settled in at the left guard, but always I’m ready to have versatility," Peat said. "Whatever the team needs me to do I feel like I’ll do that to contribute to the overall success of the team.”
Peat has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons and has contributed to an offense that has averaged an NFL-best 394.8 yards per game during the past five seasons.
An Arizona native and son of former NFL lineman Todd Peat, he started at guard in all 10 regular-season games in which he played last season. He missed six games with a fractured forearm but was back in time for New Orleans' regular-season finale and lone playoff game.
“I’m healthy now and just looking forward to this next season and just improving from last year, really,” Peat said.
Peat's return puts all five 2019 starters on the offensive line — Peat, left tackle Terron Armstead, center Erik McCoy, right guard Larry Warford and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk — under contract for the coming season. Peat said he preferred to return to that group over joining four new linemates with another club.
“It’s really important that we build that continuity," Peat said. "I’ve been playing next to Terron my whole career. Larry, Ryan and Erik, they’re all really talented and great players. So, I’m excited to get back and keep building with this group.”
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