Armstead instantly becomes the presumed starter at left tackle for the Dolphins, whose offensive line struggled at times last season. His decision came one day after visiting Miami, then leaving without a deal completed.
A person with knowledge of the agreement said Armstead will sign a five-year deal worth nearly $75 million, with about $44 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Armstead nor the team revealed those terms publicly.
"I'll be taking my talents to South Beach," Armstead said in a video posted to his social media platforms Tuesday night, using the same line LeBron James used in 2010 when he announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. "Miami, what's up?"
Armstead is a three-time Pro Bowl selection — 2018, 2019 and 2020 — but was limited to eight games for the Saints last season while dealing with a knee injury and COVID-19-related issues.
Armstead joins a free agency haul by Miami that includes another offensive lineman in former Dallas guard Connor Williams — who spoke earlier this week about how excited he is to join the zone-blocking scheme that new Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel will employ.
"O-line is a special game," Williams said. "It’s all about camaraderie, it’s all about trusting the guy to the left and to the right of you. You’re never just as good as your best player. You’re as good as the whole line’s strength all together. That’s the most beautiful part about it and I think that’s the most exciting part of the game, just being able to build that together — the chemistry together."