The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that the team has signed former Madison Central and University of Kentucky star Larry Warford to a four-year contract.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that the right guard’s deal is worth $34 million with $17 million guaranteed.
Warford said he had “about five or six other (offers), but this is definitely where I wanted to be.”
One reason is that he’s familiar with the Saints’ offense, since he played for quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi in Detroit.
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Warford was a third-round draft pick (65th overall) by the Detroit Lions out of Kentucky in 2013. He immediately became a starter at right guard as a rookie, and was named the 2013 Pro Football Focus Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Since his rookie season, the Lions have ranked seventh in the NFL in net passing yards per game (263.0).
“I think I’ve been on a steady rise,” Warford said of his career. “It’s really, really coming together for me right now. … I’m only looking to get better.”
Warford, who is 6-foot-3 and 317 pounds, was a three-year starter at right guard for Kentucky and earned Southeastern Conference honors all four years of his career.
As a senior in 2012, Warford did not allow a sack all season. He was voted a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. Warford was also named to the All-Southeastern Conference second team by both the AP and the league’s coaches.