One New Orleans Saints offensive lineman just became very wealthy. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Ryan Ramczyk signed a five-year $96 million contract extension that includes $60 million guaranteed. He is now the highest-paid right tackle in football.
Ramczyk staying with the Saints is big as the team looks to do big things without Drew Brees. Earlier this year, Brees announced his retirement after playing in the NFL for 20 seasons. He was a member of the Saints since 2006 but worked with Ramczyk since 2017 when the offensive lineman was drafted in the league.
Ramczyk was drafted No. 32 overall in 2017 and quickly became a star in the NFL. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team in 2017 and selected to the All-Pro Second Team in 2018 and 2020. He made the All-Pro First Team in 2019 but has never been selected to play in a Pro Bowl, making him one of the biggest snubs of the game the last few years.
Ramczyk played college football at a few places but made a name for himself at Wisconsin, being named to the All-America First Team in 2016. He was considered one of the best offensive lineman prospects entering the 2017 NFL Draft. And the thing about Ramczyk's career is at one point he was looking into doing welding instead of playing football.
"Initially, I was like, 'You know, maybe football is not for me,'" Ramczyk told ESPN in 2016. "It's not what I want to do. But just being out of the game made me realize how much I really do love it and wanted to be back."
With Ramczyk signed, the Saints can no focus on who will start at quarterback? Taysom Hill started in place of Brees when he was injured last season, but Jameis Winston has more experience as he was the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for five seasons before joining the Saints in 2020.
"I think the furthest we went with that would've been when everyone was healthy and Taysom was playing I'll call it maybe eight to 10 plays at quarterback — I would never discount that," Saints coach Sean Payton told Rich Eisen in May. But I would say this, (Hill) knows and so does Jameis that we're looking to find a guy that's going to lead our team this year.