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Andrus Peat didn’t re-sign with Saints before deadline, costing $13M in dead money

Andrus Peat might be playing for a team besides the New Orleans Saints in 2024, ending his nine-year run with the team that drafted him. The Saints were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension with Peat prior to Wednesday’s deadline, which means they’re paying $13,638,000 in dead money for him to at least explore the market before making a decision.

Peat was on the outs with the Saints this time last year. He was forced to accept a pay cut in the spring and demoted to the third-string offensive line over the summer. When the team was shorthanded and frustrated with Trevor Penning’s too-slow improvement at left tackle, they moved Peat back to his college position for the first time in years.

And he thrived there, only allowing two sacks on more than 400 snaps inn pass protection. Now he’s 30 and facing his last great opportunity to cash in on a lucrative NFL contract. The Saints could have extended Peat sooner to avoid paying out that $13.6 million left over from past restructures, but he likely wanted to test the market before agreeing to a new deal.

It’s still possible Peat may return to close out his career with New Orleans. A new contract with the Saints wouldn’t impact that dead money charge against the salary cap but it would insure the team is getting something for paying him anyway. 30-and-over starters with Peat’s versatility as an inside-out lineman who can play both guard and tackle aren’t being paid as much as their younger peers, but there are enough offensive lines in poor shape around the league to where he should receive some offers as a free agent.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire