QB Drew Brees/2013 base salary-$9.75 million, w/bonuses-$17.4 million 2013 cap hit: Sorry had to go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room. It would surprise me if Brees did restructure his contract since he barely procured it back in July. Still if he truly wants his team to succeed and get some talent he would. He has expressed that he wants the Saints to retain Bushrod so there is a slim chance he give some to keep the guy protecting his blindside…key word is slim.
CB Jabari Greer/2013 base salary-$3.6 million, w/bonuses-$5.4 million 2013 cap hit: Greer had a good season but had some injuries as well. That doesn’t warrant the Saints demanding that he restructure but Greer just seems like the kind of guy who would do it to help his team if he can. He just received this contract extension though and in the end would only help with a few million at best.
WR Marques Colston/2013 base salary-$4.5 million, w/bonuses-$6.6 million 2013 cap hit: We can all agree that Colston didn’t have the season we are used to seeing him have as in previous years. While making some spectacular grabs he also had costly drops and uncharacteristic fumbles. His contract is also fresh but he might be more likely to restructure since he is a team player and seems like he would want to prove he’s worth his contract.
LB Curtis Lofton/2013 base salary-$1.1 million, w/bonuses-$7.1 million 2013 cap hit: Lofton’s contract lies in his bonuses he’ll receive. He’s got $1 million due in a signing bonus and $5 million in “miscellaneous” bonuses. I’m no cap expert but some of that could be converted possibly to the signing bonus part and save the team some although Lofton did play well this past season.
RG Jahri Evans/2013 base salary-$7.2 million, w/bonuses-$9.8 million 2013 cap hit: Evans took one for the team last year and worked his contract to get payed through bonuses while only having a $700,000 base salary and only counting against the salary cap for $3.3 million. If need be, the Saints could ask him to do the same again for this season.
LB David Hawthorne/2013 base salary-$1 million, w/bonuses-$4.7 million 2013 cap hit: It’s the same situation as Curtis Lofton where the value is in the “miscellaneous” bonuses. Hawthorne didn’t really standout this past season and the Saints could ask him to help out some and put more into a signing bonus part of his contract.
DT Brodrick Bunkley/2013 base salary-$3.7 million, w/bonuses-$4.7 million 2013 cap hit: Bunkley did an average job on the defensive line for 2012 after big things were expected of him. But play next to Sedrick Ellis and that’s what you get. Still Bunkley could contribute some with his salary being converted to a signing bonus.
LG Ben Grubbs/2013 base salary-$5.2 million, w/bonuses-$7.3 million 2013 cap hit: If Jahri Evans is able to help restructure then so could Grubbs. Grubbs is coming into his second year with the Saints but could still contribute to the salary cap space. Again, a signing bonus and lowering his base would help the club.
DE Will Smith($14.5 million 2013 cap hit), LB Jonathan Vilma($8.6 million 2013 cap hit), S Roman Harper($7.1 million 2013 cap hit): I lumped all three of these into one because they all fall into the same category which is “Do or Die” and also this has been discussed in some of previous articles so we’re beating a dead horse. The short of it is that while all these players possess talent, it’s not enough to justify what they are getting paid. The jury is still out on if the Saints will attempt to bring all three back or not. But the verdict should be that if all three players don’t want to restructure then they’ll likely be gone especially Smith.