Senio Kelemete loves Saints, but may need to leave for a starting job

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Senio Kelemete has started 17 games at guard for the Saints over the last two seasons, which has led to him playing more than 57 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and made him a key part of their offensive line group even if he’s only getting looks as a starter when injuries arise elsewhere.

If Kelemete does want to be a permanent part of the starting lineup, he may need to leave New Orleans as a free agent this offseason. With Larry Warford and Andrus Peat, the Saints have a pair of starting guards and Kelemete’s ability to step in at center or tackle in a pinch won’t push him ahead of the team’s starters in those spots.

Kelemete calls staying with the Saints his “first priority,” but also feels he’s shown he’s capable of a first-team role.

“I’ll let my tape do the talking,” Kelemete said, via Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I do feel confident that I am a starter just because of the many positions I’ve played. With the less time that I’ve had to prepare and just kind of settle in at that position, I’m still able to play at a high level no matter what position I had to play –– right guard, left guard or right tackle. You name it, I’m going to give it my best, and I felt like I did that.”

Kelemete’s versatility made him a valuable piece for the Saints and it should also lead to interest on the open market because he can be an option for a variety to fill a variety of needs. That would seem to make it likelier than not that he winds up landing elsewhere come March 14.