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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Sigler

Mickey Loomis says Saints made several attempts to re-sign Andrus Peat

Every NFL team hopes to draft good prospects and develop them into great pros, and to see them play out their careers in the same uniform — so it’s disappointing when that doesn’t end up as planned. That’s the place the New Orleans Saints found themselves when Andrus Peat, a three-time Pro Bowl alternate left guard, left in free agency to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders.

General manager Mickey Loomis spoke about Peat’s situation at the Saints Hall of Fame golf tournament on Monday. He says the Saints tried to retain Peat once his contract expired, but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal.

“We made attempts to get him re-signed and he chose to go someplace else. Which, that’s what free agency is about,” Loomis reflected. “Andrus was a good pick for us, played for us for a long time, I’m excited for him. I know he’s got a new chapter he’s probably excited about a new team. I wish him nothing but the best of luck.”

It’s easy to understand things from Peat’s perspective. Last year he was asked to take a steep pay cut, and then he was benched to start the season — only to save Loomis and Allen’s skin when they needed him to play left tackle. He stepped into his college position for the first time in years after their handpicked choice, Trevor Penning, became a turnstile. And all offseason Loomis and Allen have spoken about Peat as if he were expendable.

So even if the Raiders aren’t paying him highly or guaranteeing him a starting job, at least they wanted him. The Saints already tried to get rid of him last year and they were willing to take on $13 million in dead money by letting him walk away. Those actions speak louder than their words. With Peat leaving town, the Saints have had to sign a number of veteran free agents like Oli Udoh, Shane Lemieux, and Lucas Patrick. We’ll see if any of them can fill in for him at left guard, and whether Peat is in the lineup when the Raiders visit New Orleans late in 2024.

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