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NFL AM: Bills And Saints Lock Up Left Tackles

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Bills agree to five-year deal with Cordy Glenn:

At 6-foot-5 and 345 pounds, Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn is among the biggest left tackles in the game. As he gets ready to enter his fifth NFL season, the former second-round pick is also among the best left tackles in the game.

The Bills knew they couldn’t afford to get their bit athletic tackle test the free agent market this offseason, as they placed the franchise tag on Glenn to make sure that wouldn’t happen. Tuesday the team made sure they wouldn’t have to use the tag on him again as they signed Glenn to a 5-year contract extension worth up to 65 million dollars.

Men as big and athletic as Glenn don’t come around very often, so locking up the 26-year old left tackle to a new long term deal is about as wise of an investment as the Bills could make. On an offense with a bunch of question marks, Glenn is an absolute exclamation point.

Whether it be in the running game where the Bills picked up a league best 2,432 yards on the ground, or protecting the quarterback, Glenn is worth every penny of the 26.5 million he’s been guaranteed on his new deal in Buffalo.

The only thing as important as production in this league is durability, and the Bills left tackle has shown he’s a guy the team can rely on game in and game out, missing just three games during his rookie season, before playing in every game over the past three seasons. Glenn has started every game he’s played in since his rookie season, becoming a cornerstone of the Buffalo offense.

The Bills have a long way to go before they’re ready to compete with the league’s elite teams, but they’ve got a young man who’s turning into an elite player at one of the most important positions in the game locked up to a new long term deal, and that’s not a bad start.

Saints extend Terron Armstead:

Glenn wasn’t the only excellent young left tackles to sign a fresh new deal on Tuesday, as the New Orleans Saints locked up Drew Brees’ blind side protector to a five-year deal that will ensure he’ll be protecting Brees and his eventual replacement.

The similarities don’t end there for the two big left tackles. Like Glenn, Armstead is 6-foot-5 and over 300 pounds, coming in just smaller than Glenn at 306 pounds. Neither player were first round picks. Like Glenn who went in the second round in 2012, Armstead became a steal in the 2013 draft going in the third.

The Saints offense is going through a transition as Brees ages and the team attempts to become more balanced. With Armstead and 2015 first-round pick Andrus Peat on the offensive line, New Orleans is supporting this shift by investing into an offensive line whose play has been up and down in recent years.

The Saints aren’t sure how much longer Brees has left, but they know if they’re going to have a chance to make one more run with their future Hall of Fame quarterback, they’re going to have to protect him and keep him healthy. Armstead’s new deal Tuesday will go a long way to making that happen.

New Orleans’ offense isn’t the explosive juggernaut it once was, but Brees has shown us that he’s still got enough left in the tank for the Saints offense to still be one of the best in the league when everything is working.

Raiders tight end Clive Walford injures knee in ATV crash:

The Oakland Raiders were having a nearly perfect offseason as the team has done an unbelievable job of adding talent to an already ascending roster. Well, we thought it was going nearly perfectly, but that’s because the team had done a good job of being quiet about the fact that tight end Clive Walford injured his knee at some point this offseason after crashing an ATV.

It’s unclear when the injury happened, but FOX SPORTS reports that Walford is going to miss spring practices because of it. While this is probably the first and worst bad news of the Raiders offseason, according to one source close to the team the injury, “may not be as bad as originally thought.”

It’s tough not to be split on the whole conversation about athletes and what they should be doing during their time off. While everyone wants the players on their team to remain healthy and not risk injury during the offseason or off days, it’s not fair for us to expect these young men to live inside a bubble.

It’s tough to say what players should or shouldn’t be allowed to do in their own free time, but it seems logical that staying away from operating a motor vehicle that doesn’t include doors and air bags could be a good start.

Just ask Kellen Winslow Jr. If this knucklehead can injure himself on a motorcycle, in a parking lot, then it’s probably fair to say that whatever you’re doing on an ATV, and wherever you’re doing it, it’s likely more dangerous than riding a street bike around a parking lot.

This isn’t a crime. We shouldn’t be looking at Walford like a disappointed parent who just can’t wrap their head around how their kid got into trouble. The Raiders tight end was just trying to enjoy some time off by doing something pretty wholesome, so let’s not peg him as some “off the field distraction,” as ESPN’s Mark Dominik once called Cam Newton after the Panthers’ quarterback was in a car accident —that wasn’t his fault!

This wasn’t a crime, and Walford shouldn’t be looked down upon for the situation, but NFL players need to be a little smarter, and a little less risky with their bodies than the rest of us, because they can’t afford off-the-field injuries during their playing careers.

No, we shouldn’t expect players to live inside a bubble, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t consider it. (Figuratively people, relax) If you only had a small window during your life to do what you love and make the majority of the money you’ll ever make, you’d consider it, wouldn’t you?


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.