The New Orleans Saints currently have just under $4 million million dollars in salary cap space, according to recent reports. New Orleans will need money to sign their recent draft picks, potentially make more moves, along with the pending 1-Yr deal for former Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
The Saints have been experts at juggling the finances of the salary cap in recent years, usually doing so by restructuring the contracts of their higher priced veterans. New Orleans could also move on from some of their veterans to create cap space for other moves, a difficult but necessary decision that all teams face. Here are a few New Orleans veterans who could find themselves looking for a new team soon.
*contract figures provided by Spotrac.com
Larry Warford, Guard
Warford seems the most likely to be on the move after the team spent a 1st round choice on Michigan lineman Cesar Ruiz and his own disappointing performance late last season. The 28-Yr old Warford will cost $12.875 million dollars against the Saints salary cap in 2020 after regressing a season ago. A trade of the former Pro Bowl lineman is possible if New Orleans could find a suitor willing to take on a portion of his salary. Releasing Warford would cause $5.125 in dead cap space, but also create $7.75 million in cap space to work with.
Nick Easton, Guard/Center
Easton played well in relief of injured right guard Andrus Peat in 2019, but was also inactive for several games and carries a high cap number heading into 2020. Easton’s original deal, signed last offseason, is for 4 years and $22.5 million dollars. He will count for just under $5.4 million against the team’s salary cap this season. If the Saints release Easton before June 1, they will create $3.8 million in cap space but also cause $1.5 million in dead cap this season. They could designate Easton for a post-June 1 release, spreading the dead cap to $500,000 this season and $1 million in 2021, while creating over $4.8 million in cap space this season.
Patrick Robinson, Cornerback
The Saints have already restructured Robinson’s deal once this offseason. He is entering the 3rd year of a 4-Yr deal worth $20 million. Robinson, who was a big liability in the secondary last year, will count $3.45 million against the cap in 2020. Releasing him prior to June 1 wouldn’t save the team much, but cause $2.5 million in dead cap space this season. A post-June 1 release of Robinson would spread that dead money evenly over the next two seasons though, while creating $2.2 million in cap space this year.
Mario Edwards Jr., Defensive Lineman
Edwards was part of a deep defensive line rotation in 2020, but the team is high on the potential of second-year end Carl Granderson and re-signed pass rusher Noah Spence. The 26-Yr old Edwards is entering the last year of his contract and will cost $3.24 million dollars of cap space in 2020. Releasing him would create $2.345 million in cap space while creating just $895,000 in dead cap.
Follow Bob Rose at the Saints News Network or on Twitter @bobbyr2613.