Saints sign Lutz to biggest deal for kicker in NFL

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints locked up kicker Wil Lutz with a new five-year contract Wednesday that his agency Perla Sports Management described in a news release as an "NFL record deal for a place-kicker."

Terms were not immediately available, but a source said the total value is the highest in league history. The NFL's top kickers make north of $4 million per year.

Lutz, 24, was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this year. But there was no chance the Saints were going to let him get away after he solved a decade's worth of kicker issues. When Lutz arrived during Week 1 of the 2016 season, he became New Orleans' 11th kicker in 11 years.

Since then, Lutz has made 87 of 100 field goal attempts, including 28 of 30 last season.

"This is the team that kind of took a shot in the dark on me from the start. And I'm obviously excited that I've been able to back up Sean (Payton)'s decision to stick his neck out for me. And obviously to stay here after the carousel that kind of came through here is exciting. And hopefully there's a few more of these to come," said Lutz, who began his career as an undrafted rookie with the Baltimore Ravens out of Georgia State in 2016 but got released since the Ravens already had Justin Tucker.

Payton brought in Lutz for a workout on the recommendation of Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh, then famously said Lutz had "probably the best kicking workout I've ever seen."

The Saints also have the NFL's highest-paid punter in longtime standout Thomas Morstead, whose deal averages $3.9 million per year.