Thursday March 5th, 2015

The New Orleans Saints are clearing more cap space before the start of free agency, converting safety Jairus Byrd’s $6 million roster bonus to a signing bonus, reports ESPN.com’s Field Yates.

The move clears about $4.8 million in cap space and also drops Byrd's cap number from $10.3 million to $5.5 million for next season.

Byrd only played in four games last season with his new team and was placed on season-ending injured reserve after tearing his lateral meniscus ligament in his knee. Saints head coach Sean Peyton says Byrd’s rehab is on schedule and should be cleared to participate in mini-camp.

BEDARD: The 2015 free agents ranked 1-50 | 50- 100

The Saints also parted ways with veteran running back Pierre Thomas after eight seasons this week, and could save more than $2 million if he is designated as a post-June 1 release.

The team is also reportedly putting linebacker Curtis Lofton on the trading block and other veterans on the team could be asked to restructure their deals or be released.

The Saints are more than $22 million over the salary cap entering next week’s start of free agency.

- Scooby Axson

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