Saints lock in a key part to their potential 2022 success

Just prior to their season opener on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints locked in a key member of their offensive line.

While the New Orleans Saints did make a plethora of additions this offseason, they did lose a pivotal piece of their offensive line. Left tackle Terron Armstead left in free agency, and signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. Prior to the start of the season, the Saints decided to ensure losing another important lineman wouldn’t happen next offseason.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Saints and center Erik McCoy agreed to terms on a five-year, $63.75 million contract extension, with $40 million being guaranteed. McCoy’s agency, Apex Sports Group, also announced the news.

Saints, Erik McCoy agree to contract extension

McCoy was set to enter the final year of his four-year rookie contract as a second-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2019.

As Garafolo points out in a separate tweet, McCoy was never named to a Pro Bowl in the first three years of his career, and now he is one of the top five highest-paid centers in the NFL in terms of an average-per-year basis. McCoy will be set to make $12.75 million per year. Frank Ragnow of the Detroit Lions leads all centers with $13.5 million per season.

According to Pro Football Focus, McCoy allowed zero sacks, but was called for eight penalties on 746 offensive snaps in 2021 (12 games).

While New Orleans did lose Armstead, they now have both McCoy and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk under contract for the foreseeable future. This year, the team will rely upon their offensive line to hold the defense back for quarterback Jameis Winston, as he targets Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave. Not only that, McCoy will be opening up holes at the line of scrimmage to give room for running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

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