News around Terron Armstead, and the offensive tackle position in general, has been extremely slow so far in the 2022 NFL free agency period. It very much feels like the landscape at tackle is waiting to see where Armstead goes before the rest plays out. Let’s examine some predictions for where Armstead could be playing in 2022 and beyond.
Predictions for Terron Armstead in 2022 NFL free agency
The situation for Armstead is interesting. He is by far the top option available at the offensive tackle position. PFN’s Lead NFL Insider Aaron Wilson reported that Armstead would love to play with Deshaun Watson and is waiting to see if he heads to New Orleans before making his decision. However, if Watson plays elsewhere, Armstead will have plenty of suitors looking for help at tackle.
In terms of market value, Armstead is not expected to be cheap. Spotrac has him projected for four years, $95.8 million at $23.9 million per year. That does seem to limit his options somewhat. However, the beauty of the salary cap and NFL contracts is that the $95.8 million can be spread in such ways that really any team with a need at tackle remains in play for Armstead. Starting with the Saints, let’s examine where Armstead could play football for the next few seasons.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have been furiously making cap space in order to acquire Watson. If they do make the trade, we could see them then immediately restructure Watson’s deal slightly in order to open up more space to sign Armstead. Putting Armstead back at left tackle would make this one of the most impressive offensive line units in the league.
Even if Watson goes elsewhere, the Saints could still be a destination for Armstead as a free agent. He has played his entire career in New Orleans, which is not insignificant over a nine-year tenure. Their efforts to open that cap space will also mean they can compete with most other offers on the table for Armstead this week.
What the Dolphins do at tackle is likely going to be how their offseason is judged. They have made some intriguing additions, but the tackle position is the key that everyone is waiting to see. Armstead would be a huge upgrade over any of the current tackle options on the Dolphins roster.
What would be interesting is whether the Dolphins consider making him switch to right tackle to protect Tua Tagovailoa’s blindside. It seems unlikely at this point in his career, and we should not rule out the Dolphins also making a move for La’el Collins. Putting Armstead and Collins on that offensive line would totally transform the outlook for Miami. They would go from a fringe playoff team to being among the potential contenders for the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots
One team that has been very quiet this offseason has been the Patriots. They have Trent Brown as a free agent and Isaiah Wynn has been somewhat unreliable. Adding Armstead would give them the opportunity to either move Wynn to right tackle or consider him as a replacement at guard for Shaq Mason.
The relative lack of activity from the Patriots has been head-scratching. Yet, if it has all been a case of waiting for an answer at left tackle, it will make a lot more sense. Armstead could be a veteran piece that Jones can trust on his blindside for the next three to four years.
The Bengals have dropped the hammer with some big free agent moves on their offensive line. However, tackle remains a spot they have yet to address. Jonah Williams is entering the final year of his contract, and neither Isaiah Prince nor D’Ante Smith is a sure thing. The interior of the line has been addressed, but the Bengals have the cap space to make one more big-ticket addition to that line.
Another team that is very much hanging on the outcome of the Watson situation is the Colts. They still have to address who will be their starting QB in 2022. However, the answer at left tackle could be just as important. Eric Fisher is a free agent, and there is no clear starting left tackle on the roster right now.
If the Colts can put a piece like Armstead at left tackle, it could help mask the uncertainty at QB. We have seen historically how important a strong offensive line can be to the play of a QB. While it won’t make the likes of Marcus Mariota or Baker Mayfield an elite QB, it could be enough to make them a solid enough option to lead a deep playoff run. The difference between getting Armstead or a different LT would likely determine whether they enter the year a top-five offensive line or somewhere closer to 10th.