Top free agent OT Armstead signs with Dolphins

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MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins on Tuesday reached an agreement with tackle Terron Armstead on a five-year offensive deal worth up to $ 87.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who locked up one of the best free agents in the 2022 cycle .

The deal includes $ 43.37 million in guaranteed money, the source said.

Armstead confirmed he would sign a contract with Miami in a video posted on Instagram.

“It’s Terron Armstead, the left tackle who is entering my 10th year in the NFL – and I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” he said in the video, while wearing a Dolphins hat. “Miami what’s going on, let’s get to work.”

The former New Orleans Saints left tackle is a triple Pro Bowler in nine NFL seasons and should give a boost to one of last season’s worst pass-blocking teams.

The Dolphins owned the NFL’s worst pass block win rate last season, winning only 46.6% of their matchups, according to the NFL Next Gen Stats. For reference, Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams led the NFL in that category with 68.4%. The Dolphins’ inability to hold blocks affected the way quarterback Tua Tagovailoa played, as his average throwing time (2.52 seconds) was the fourth fastest in the league.

The Dolphins have publicly endorsed Tagovailoa throughout the offseason, and although much of the team’s success in 2022 will depend on his development, first-year coach Mike McDaniel has insisted that Tagovailoa need help around him.

“I’ve never seen a quarterback win a football game alone,” McDaniel said. “He should have someone to throw to. He better not be tackled before throwing, so someone should rather block.”

Miami met its need for playmakers early in the free agency, signing running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson. It also used the franchise brand to hold on to Mike Gesicki and re-signed his backup, Durham Smythe.

But the addition of Armstead and former Dallas Cowboys guard Connor Williams helps consolidate an offensive line, as Miami has used four top-100 draft picks since 2019. The additions of Williams and Armstead likely mean the previous pick in the first round, Austin Jackson and Jesse Davis will not return as the team’s starting left guard and right tackle, respectively. Williams and Armstead can anchor the left side of Miami’s line as they figure out what to do with previous second-round picks, Robert Hunt and Liam Eichenberg – both of whom have guard and tackle flexibility. In midfield, Michael Deiter started eight games in an injury-shortened 2021 season.

Former Brown center JC Tretter is available and owns the NFL’s second-best pass block win rate since 2019. Or the Dolphins could look at the draft to settle the position if they believe they should move on from Deiter.

Armstead, who turns 31 in July, has been one of the NFL’s elite left tackles since the Saints hit him in the third round of 2013 out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, making him their starter toward the end of his rookie season.

He was named the second-team All-Pro in 2018 and was selected to three straight Pro Bowls from 2018 to 2020. Pro Football Focus rated Armstead as the NFL’s best offensive tackle in both 2015 and 2018. A huge athlete for his size, 6-foot. The 5,304-pound still holds the record for the fastest 40-yard dash of an offensive lineman at the NFL scouting combination of 4.71 seconds.

However, Armstead’s career has also been plagued by injuries – including elbow and knee injuries that limited him to eight games in 2021. He underwent knee surgery after the season, calling it successful and saying, “Time To Get Right!” on Instagram.

Armstead also missed a total of 21 games from 2016 to 2018 while dealing with knee, hip, shoulder and chest injuries. But his health improved as he only missed three games in total from 2019 to 2020.

Armstead signed a five-year, $ 65 million contract extension in 2016 that made him one of the league’s highest paid left tackles at the time. He still has nearly $ 13 million in dead money from the deal planned to count toward New Orleans’ salary cap in 2022.

Armstead was selected as the Saints’ Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate in 2019 for his efforts both on the field and in society.

ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.

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