Ryan Ramczyk, Saints agree to $96 million contract extension

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Whew: this is a big one. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a multiyear contract extension with All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk; the deal will pay out $96 million over five years, carrying $60 million in guarantees.

It’s a huge pay day for one of the team’s top 2017 NFL draft picks. Ramczyk seamlessly transitioned to right tackle after starring at left tackle in college for Wisconsin, earning All-Pro recognition in each of the last three seasons (first team in 2019, second team in 2018 and 2020). He’s played 95% or more of the team’s offensive snaps every year he’s been in the NFL, only missing one game — the 2018 regular season finale, when New Orleans pulled its starters after locking up the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed.

Ramczyk is also the only player on the roster to have logged 1,000 or more combined snaps (offense plus defense plus special teams) in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. He’s battled through some injuries but rarely left the field. He turned 27 earlier this spring (on April 22, for anyone tracking Saints player birthdays, for some reason) and could continue to improve. Considering he’s already made a habit of shutting down star pass rushers like Shaquil Barrett, Khalil Mack, and Za’Darius Smith, well; that’s quite a cause for celebration in New Orleans.

Additionally, Ramczyk’s contract extension restructured his 2021 salary cap hit. He was due to count $11,064,000 against the cap due to his fifth year option, but this new deal should consolidate that into a more-manageable figure, saving cap space. That will allow the Saints to extend franchise-tagged free safety Marcus Williams and maybe cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who restructured his deal on the eve on training camp. Maybe the Saints can add a couple of veteran free agents, too.

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