The writing was on the wall as soon as the Saints drafted Cesar Ruiz.
Probably even before. The fact that the coaching staff wasn't happy with Larry Warford's performance last season was hardly a secret. When New Orleans selected Ruiz, an interior offensive lineman, in the first round of the draft, Warford's tenure with the Saints was essentially over.
If there was any doubt in the moment, Saints coach Sean Payton further clarified after the draft by saying Ruiz was not brought to town to serve as a backup. At that point, the only question was whether Warford was going to be cut or traded and when. The answer came on Friday when New Orleans released the former Pro Bowl guard.
Warford was a solid piece for the Saints until last season when his play was a source of disappointment for the team. He blew 13 blocks in the running game and was by far the slowest member of an offensive line that has become progressively more athletic. The additions of Erik McCoy and Ruiz over the last two years have helped turn this line into the second-fastest group in the NFL, which is sure to help revive a stagnant screen game.
Some have asked why the Saints didn't allow Warford to compete for a job or keep him as depth.