The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms with former Detroit Lions guard Larry Warford, one of the top free agents on the market, according to his agent, Neil Schwartz.
Warford, presumably, fills the hole on the right side of the offensive line left by veteran Jahri Evans, who played in all 16 games last season after Senio Kelemete and Tim Lelito failed to grab hold of the spot in training camp.
New Orleans was also rumored to be in the hunt for Cincinnati Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler, who became the highest-paid guard in history by inking a five-year, $60 million deal with $31.5 million in guaranteed money with the Cleveland Browns.
Warford, who should come at a cheaper price tag than Zeitler, was widely considered one of the top four or five guards available in free agency.
Drafted in the third round out of Kentucky in 2013, Warford was immediately inserted into the starting lineup and turned in a breakout rookie season.
Injuries hampered Warford over the next two seasons – he missed three games apiece in 2014 and 2015 – before bouncing back to form in 2016, just in time for free agency.
Warford, a 6-foot-3, 330-pound road-grader, has had his issues over the years, but he instantly becomes a young, foundational piece at the age of 25 for an offensive line that also has Terron Armstead (25) at left tackle and Andrus Peat (23) at left guard.
He also has a Saints connection.
The big guard spends his offseasons working out with former Saints center LeCharles Bentley, who runs the O-Line Academy in Ohio for offensive linemen to train.