New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief has spoken of his delight at signing a new five-year contract with the franchise.
Strief put pen to paper on his new long-term contract earlier this month, and according to ESPN will take home a basic salary of $5.5 million, plus a signing on fee of $5.5 million.
The 30-year-old has spent his entire career in New Orleans having established himself as a regular starter in 2011.
Strief was allowed to enter free agency but was soon tied down to to long-term contract by the Saints.
The seventh-round pick in the 2006 draft said he was glad to have his future sorted, and insisted that he always wanted to stay with the Saints.
"I’m extremely excited to be back," he told the Saints official website. "That free agency process is not as much fun as it’s advertised as, especially when you have a strong desire to go to one place and kind of be in your home. I’m just glad that it worked out.”
When asked if he always wanted to re-sign, he explained: “You have to be smart about it and try you best to kind of keep a level head. As much as I did want to stay, you have to be open to the possibility that it’s not going to work out for whatever reason that is.
"You try to keep an open kind and go into with that mindset that it might not work. I think that’s the same way that the teams go into.
"Even if they want a guy, maybe it doesn’t always all come together. Try to keep a level head and yet at the same time every time we heard from somebody else I made sure to emphasize to my agent that he needed to call the Saints and make sure that they were in the loop and see if we could get something accomplished.”
There has been plenty of upheaval in New Orleans during the offseason, with a host of veterans let go and Darren Sproles traded to the Eagles.
At the same time as announcing Streif's new deal, the Saints also announced that they had signed fullback Erik Lorig on a four-year contract.