Saints guard Tim Lelito signs his restricted free agent tender _lowres


Saints guard Tim Lelito has signed his restricted free agent tender, officially keeping him in New Orleans for another year.

Lelito, who opened the offseason as a restricted free agent, was tendered at the lowest level — a one year, $1.67 million deal — that gave the Saints right of first refusal if any other team signed him.

The fourth-year guard had until Sunday, April 24, to sign his tender. Until then, Lelito was waiting to see if a team offered him a better deal.

Lelito officially ended any speculation by posting a photo of himself signing the tender on Instagram Thursday morning.

Dallas offered Lelito a contract, but the Cowboys are set on the interior line with La’el Collins, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, and Lelito wanted another chance to prove himself as an NFL starter.

Lelito, who was undrafted out of Grand Valley State, started 13 games at left guard for the Saints last season.

With him in the fold, New Orleans has three players on the offensive line — Lelito, Senio Kelemete and Andrus Peat — who started games at guard last season, and the Saints could still add another guard in the draft next week.