On Friday, the New Orleans Saints cut right guard Larry Warford for salary cap relief. Warford, 28, is entering his ninth season and has made the Pro Bowl the past three seasons. The Saints saved $7 million against the cap after signing Warford to a four-year, $34 million deal three years ago. The Saints drafted Cesar Ruiz with the 24th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Warford’s PFF grade was 75.8 in 2019. His lowest PFF grade has been 66.0, but, aside from that, never lower than 72.8 for what it’s worth. Warford was allegedly released because New Orleans also wanted to add athleticism along the offensive line. I’ve watched Warford, and he is and has been one of the better right guards in football for the past few seasons. He’s probably not in the first tier, but he’s not far off. There are issues with Warford on the move, but it’s not too different from Mike Person, the 49ers starter last year at right guard. One of the takeaways I had rewatching the Super Bowl was seeing Person struggle with the different stunts and twists the Chiefs were running up front. It was ugly. For Warford, identifying the games, defensive lines run upfront is his best trait. Pass protection alone would be worth signing Warford.
The issue? Money. Isn’t it always? The 49ers have just north of $16.6 million in salary-cap space, according to OvertheCap. The team has to take care of George Kittle as well as protect themselves for any unforeseeable events in 2020, and save room for a few notable contracts that expire after the season. Warford’s cap number the past two seasons was eight and nine million, respectively. As much as I love Daniel Brunskill, Warford is a better football player and if the goal is to improve, you have to be interested. Kyle Shanahan doesn’t seem like the type to invest a lot of money into guards. The team traded a late-round draft pick to acquire Laken Tomlinson. Person and Brunskill were UDFA’s.
If you were Lynch, do you find a way to fit Warford under the salary cap and go all-in on the Super Bowl? Or do you trust what’s on the roster?
Should the 49ers find a way to sign Warford
This poll is closed
Yes, he’s worth the $$
No, not worth the $$