On Friday afternoon, the New Orleans Saints released three-time Pro Bowl right guard Larry Warford.
Source: The #Saints have cut guard Larry Warford, who will be one of the top FAs available.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 8, 2020
The Cleveland Browns should at least have interest in the former Detroit Lions and Saints right guard.
Warford, whom the Lions drafted No. 65 overall in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, has played his best years in the NFL in each of the last three years with the Saints.
By releasing the 317-pound, 6’3″ right guard, the Saints cleared much-needed cap space.
Before he was protecting Drew Brees in New Orleans, he played four years with the Lions.
New free agent Warford brings playoff experience as well.
He played in a combined six postseason games with the Lions and Saints.
The #Saints have released veteran Right Guard Larry Warford.
The #Browns have many options at RG this season but could benefit from adding a seasoned vet.
Warford has been a top guard and Pro-Bowler the past 3 seasons.
Would you like to see the @Browns make this move? pic.twitter.com/UM9TeNaGvt
— The Hottest Take Sports Podcast (@Hottest_TakePod) May 8, 2020
Why Should the Browns Sign Larry Warford?
From his playoff experience to his three Pro Bowl selections, Warford would be a strong asset for the Browns.
The Browns could be looking to play Wyatt Teller at right guard.
The other options are Chris Hubbard, who joined the Browns in 2018, and Drew Forbes, whom Cleveland drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.
None of the three players have made a Pro Bowl.
According to Spotrac, the Browns, unlike the Saints, have close to the most cap space in the NFL, and they can afford to sign Warford.
Warford, who had 2020 as the final year of his $34 million contract, would be an improvement on the offensive line for Cleveland.
From 2013 to 2016, he helped Matthew Stafford have some of his best NFL seasons.
In 2013, Stafford had the second-lowest sack percentage index, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
Then in 2014, Stafford made his only Pro Bowl, and he led the league with five game-winning drives.
In 2016, Stafford had eight game-winning drives, the most for a player in one season in NFL history.
Warford has been a part of many winning teams, and his teams have won 11 games in four different seasons.
He could be a part of another double-digit win club in 2020 if he joins the Browns.
Why Should the Browns Not Sign Warford?
When looking at the Browns for the upcoming season, there will be some important changes to the Cleveland offense before even considering the signing of Warford.
The Browns have added both Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin on the offensive line.
Incumbent starter Wyatt Teller started at the right guard position from Week 9 to Week 17 in 2019.
He played 15 games and 54 percent of the offensive snaps for the Browns last season.
Mayfield’s November of 2019 was by far his best month of the season, as he threw eight touchdown passes and had just one interception.
His quarterback rating was above 100 for the month, and he was sacked just six times.
Teller started each of the Browns’ three victories in November, so there is potential for the third-year offensive guard out of Virginia Tech to protect Mayfield in 2020.
Pro Football Focus has Teller allowing just one sack and being called for just two penalties last season.
Teller may have the potential to keep the starting job throughout the 2020 season.
The Browns now have an intriguing decision between starting Teller and signing Warford.
Signing Warford to a fair value similar in structure to Conklin’s is what’s best. Warford comes from a similar scheme in NO where Teller came from a power/gap scheme in BUF.
Teller prolly will be OK stuffed between Tretter and Conklin. Maybe still young enough to master the OZB. But, stuff Warford in there and Baker will have next to no worries.
His cost wouldn’t be as prohibitive as most think although adding more money to one of the NFL’s most expensive OL’s is worrisome.
Long time Browns Fan says
I think singing Larry Warford would be a great benefit to the offense. Yes, the Browns have Wyatt Teller but I think adding more depth to the offense will help in the long run.