Saints exercise fifth-year option on guard Andrus Peat

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints exercised their fifth-year option on guard Andrus Peat on Friday -- an easy decision after the 2015 first-round pick has developed into a top-notch starter.

The projected value of the option is $9.625 million, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, who first reported the news.

Peat, who was drafted with the 13th pick out of Stanford, has started 29 games over the past two years at left guard and left tackle when needed because of injuries. He played at nearly a Pro Bowl level in 2017 while the Saints led the NFL in both yards per rush and yards per pass attempt.

The 6-foot-7, 316-pounder struggled as a rookie when the Saints first tried to move him from his college position of left tackle to right tackle and right guard. But they ultimately found that he was more comfortable and effective playing on the left side of the line.

The Saints have rebuilt their offensive line into one of the team’s greatest strengths over the past three years, trading for center Max Unger, drafting Peat and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk in the first round and signing Pro Bowl right guard Larry Warford in free agency to join standout left tackle Terron Armstead.