After the Saints drafted interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz in the first round of the draft, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that he didn’t know if Ruiz or last year’s center Erik McCoy would wind up moving to guard but strongly suggested that one of them would be there because “we weren’t drafting someone that high to come in and be a backup.”
With left guard Andrus Peat freshly signed to a five-year deal, right guard would be the spot Ruiz or McCoy moved to and Payton said they’d compete with veteran Larry Warford. The Saints have had a change of heart about holding such a competition, however.
The Saints announced on Friday that they have released Warford. The move will clear $7.75 million in cap space while leaving $5.125 million in dead money.
Warford started 44 games for the Saints since joining the team as a free agent in 2017. He made the Pro Bowl in all three seasons with the team and should draw interest from teams looking for help on their offensive line.