It's not a matter of if, but when the Saints get under the NFL's salary cap number. New Orleans has done a ton of work thus far, to the despise of many who have talked at length about how detrimental the team's treatment of their contracts and cap management has put them into this position. All you have heard for months is that they were going to be nearly $100 million over, and that spelled the end for the Saints. In all fairness, no one saw COVID-19 coming, and that clearly put a big damper in things. Still, they are finding a way, and still have a long way to go.
We've put together a tracker that will keep a tally of all of the moves the Saints have made and update it as they come with the relevant information. Of course, it goes without saying that the craziest part in this equation is that the league hasn't finalized the number, and we're essentially in crunch time.
Last updated on 3/16.
Current Cap Number: $217,895,848 (per NFLPA)
What's this mean? This is a report generated and updated daily, which takes a snapshot of how many players a team has under contract, each team's salary cap carryover, team cap, and total cap room. This isn't realtime data, and is usually behind a couple days. It's important to note that the Saints carried over $4.1 million in space from last season. This should explain why you might see a total team cap number and then the cap room varying from the NFLPA figure.
Total Top 51: $191,935,706
Why are we in Top 51? From the start of the new league year, which is March 17, to the first week of the regular season, only the top 51 salaries and highest valued contracts.
Estimated Space: -$6,445,202
How is this calculated? The final salary cap number was announced on Wednesday morning to be $182.5 million, after original talks placed it in the $175-180 million range. Some thought it would come in higher, but these are the facts.
Timeline: How the Saints have Slashed Away and Spent Money
- 3/16: Terron Armstead will be restructuring his contract.
- 3/14: Taysom Hill was given a 4-year, $140 million contract extension, with all of the years being voidable and frees up $7.5 million for 2021.
- 3/12: Malcom Brown is expected to be released, which will clear nearly $5 million.
- 3/12: Michael Thomas' contract has been restructured, saving the team $8.7 million.
- 3/11: Janoris Jenkins will be released, saving $7 million in space.
- 3/10: Emmanuel Sanders will be released, which should generate $6.5 million in space.
- 3/10: Kwon Alexander will be released, which should free up just over $13 million.
- 3/10: Malcolm Jenkins and Andrus Peat restructured their contracts to create an additional $9.4 million for the team.
- 3/9: Re-signed Dwayne Washington on a one-year deal that gives him $300K guaranteed and is worth $1.13 million.
- 3/9: Team used the franchise tag on Marcus Williams, which comes in at $10.6 million officially.
- 3/6: Team restructured contracts of Cam Jordan and Demario Davis, freeing up $13 million.
- 3/6: Re-signed Ty Montgomery for one-year, veteran minimum deal that included a $137,500 signing bonus.
- 3/4: Team released veteran punter Thomas Morstead, saving $2.5 million.
- 3/4: Team restructured contract of kicker Wil Lutz to create an additional $1.74 million.
- 3/3: Re-signed J.T. Gray on a 2-year, $4 million deal.
- 3/3: Team released Josh Hill and Jared Cook, as the Hill move created an additional $2.5 million.
- 3/2: Re-signed Noah Spence on a one-year, veteran minimum deal.
- 2/12: Team released veteran Nick Easton, saving $6 million.
- 2/6: Drew Brees lowers salary to league minimum, saving $24 million.