A new two year contract for starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod is perfect for both sides.
In a season where continuity will be the most critical of all early season commodities, the Saints returned their starting left tackle, meaning that there will be no disruption to the protection of QB Drew Brees' blind side.
Bushrod, 26, who is still young and entering his third year as a starter and looking to solidify himself as a top-tier blocker in the league, will hit unrestricted free agency again in two years in the prime of his career. With two solid seasons Bushrod's free agency payday in 2013 will be considerable.
Meanwhile, the Saints have two years to groom 2010 second round draft pick Charles Brown, an athletic left tackle prospect from USC who entered his rookie year in need of physical refinement added bulk. In two years, Brown should be ready to step into the starting role in the final year of his four-year rookie contract, will all the incentive in the world to play well.
Bushrod's contract will pay him $9.8 million over two years, with a $3.5 million signing bonus.
An unknown prospect when he was selected, the Saints picked Bushrod in the fourth round of the 2007 draft out of Towson. Bushrod stepped into the starting lineup following the loss of starter Jammal Brown to hip and hernia injuries, facing Houston DE Mario Williams in a preseason game in August 2009.
Bushrod's performance has been for the most part solid with a few notable problems, when he was outmatched against Dallas DE Demarcus Ware and Colts DE Dwight Freeney. Bushrod's limitations are easily hidden by Brees, a quarterback with a quick release and uncanny pocket presence.
Bushrod wrote via Twitter this afternoon, "Happy to be a SAINT for the next 2 years!!!! #whodat"