That cap number also includes quarterback Drew Brees 2012 base salary of $14.46 million.
The amount in his case was determined because of the franchise tage that was placed on him after he and the Saints failed to reach a new deal by the leagues March 5th deadline.
Brees has yet to sign the tag offer, essentially forcing the Saints hand to continue negotiations on a long term deal until yet another deadline approaches — July 22nd — the absolute last day free agents can sign with clubs.
With only $8 million to play with, assuming the Saints don’t release or restructure any other player, it would appear that unrestricted free agents Carl Nicks and Marques Colston won’t return to the team in 2012.
Nicks desires to be the highest paid guard in the league, and Colston is looking for at least $7-million or more a year after posting five 1,000 yard receiving seasons in his six years in the NFL.
Here are the official 2012 franchise tag amounts:
- Quarterback: $14.436 million
- Running back: $7.742 million
- Wide receiver: $9.515 million
- Tight end: $5.446 million
- Offensive line: $9.383 million
- Defensive end: $10.605 million
- Defensive tackle: $7.96 million
- Linebacker: $8.856 million
- Cornerback: $10.281 million
- Safety: $6.212 million
- Kicker/Punter: $2.654 million
Here is a list of the Saints 2012 free agents and their current status, the 2012 NFL free agency period starts tomorrow at 4 pm.
- QB Drew Brees, FFA, franchise tag
- QB Sean Canfield, RFA, Re-signed
- QB Chase Daniel, RFA
- WR Adrian Arrington, ERFA, Re-signed
- WR Marques Colston, UFA
- WR Robert Meachem, UFA
- TE Daniel Hardy, Signed with Minnesota Vikings
- OG Carl Nicks, UFA
- OL Brian De La Puente, ERFA, Re-signed
- OL Justin Drescher, ERFA, Re-signed
- DL Aubrayo Franklin, UFA
- DLShaun Rogers, UFA
- DE Turk McBride, Re-signed
- LB Jonathan Casillas, RFA, tendered offer
- CB Tracy Porter, UFA
- CB Fabian Washington, UFA
- FS Jonathon Amaya, ERFA, Re-signed