When the New Orleans Saints cut three-time Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford on Friday, the former Wildcat instantly became one of the most talented veterans available on the free agent market.
Less than 24 hours, the Bears and Texans are just two of the many anticipated franchises to officially express interest.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune was the first to break the news of the Bears’ interest, while John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Texans are interested in Warford.
What's unknown at this early juncture is what kind of market will emerge for the veteran.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) May 9, 2020
Texans are interested in G Larry Warford, who was waived by the Saints. Warford is entering his 8th season and has been a starter every year since Detroit drafted him in the third round. He made the Pro Bowl the last 3 years.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 8, 2020
Outside of the Bears and Texans, teams with needs on the offensive line such as the Bengals, Jets, Colts, Dolphins, and 49ers are also expected to express interest.
Despite paying Warford a $750,000 bonus this spring, the Saints opted to cut the Pro Bowl guard to save more than $7 million in cap space, which was a necessity after re-signing Taysom Hill and bringing in Jameis Winston this offseason.
In 2017, Warford signed a four-year $34 million contract with the Saints and started all 44 games in which he appeared. He was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl in 2019 after New Orleans tied for third in the league in points per game and gave up only 25 sacks, tied for the third fewest in the league. Individually, the former Wildcat was PFF’s No. 13 overall guard with a +73.1 grade, surrendering just three sacks and 32 total QB pressures to go with six penalties.
Warford, who played high school football at Madison Central in Richmond, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft (65th overall) after a stellar career at Kentucky, in which he received Second Team All-SEC honors in 2010, 2011, and 2012.