Top free agent Terron Armstead signing five-year, $75M deal with Dolphins

The top NFL free agent is off the market.

Former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead is signing a five-year, $75 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. The deal can reach up to $87.5 million with incentives, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.

Ranked atop the NFL's 101 free agents list, Armstead immediately bolsters the Tua Tagovailoa-quarterbacked Dolphins offense.

When he's on the field, Armstead is one of the finest left tackles in the NFL. Heading into his age-31 season, Armstead should have plenty of good-to-great campaigns ahead of him to anchor a Miami offensive line that has been a weakness for the club in recent years.

Armstead's major red flag is that he missed nine games last season and at least six games in four of the past six years. He still reeled off three Pro Bowl selections in that span, though.

With Armstead on board at left tackle, the Dolphins would likely move Liam Eichenberg, who struggled there in his rookie season after he was taken in the second round, over to the right side. Conceivably, Miami could also try Armstead at right tackle to protect the left-handed Tagovailoa's blind side.

An exceptional pass blocker who more than holds his own in the run game, Armstead is a massive gain for the Dolphins in rookie head coach Mike McDaniel's first season, but just as big a loss for the Saints.

Selected out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Saints, Armstead played nine seasons in New Orleans. While the Saints are set to have quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara back, the departure of Armstead is a major blow.

Hampered by salary cap issues, the Saints let Armstead get into free agency, but he was open-minded to a return.

Armstead didn't find his way back to NOLA, though. Instead, he's headed to South Beach.

No. 1 is off the board.

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