A member of the New Orleans Saints for all 12 of his NFL seasons, veteran offensive tackle Zach Strief is set to retire. The news comes from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and will soon be made official by Strief himself.
#Saints OT Zach Strief, a long-time stalwart on their O-line, is expected to retire, I’m told, though he has not made his choice public. This was the expectation and makes their pick of first-rounder Ryan Ramczyk more important than it already was.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2018
Over the course of his dozen seasons in the Bayou, Strief has been a lynchpin in protection of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. During that span, he started 94 games and was the team’s primary starting right tackle from 2011-16.
This past season saw Strief miss all but two games with tears to the ACL and MCL. This played a prominent role in his decision to call it quits.
With Terron Armstead firmly entrenched in as the Saints’ starting left tackle, the team used the first-round selection it acquired in the Brandin Cooks trade to select Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk last April. He started all 16 games as a rookie and will now be the team’s full-time right tackle with Strief calling it quits. From a financial perspective, Strief’s retirement saves the Saints nearly $3 million in cap room.