September 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) against the Washington Redskins during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Redskins defeated the Saints 40-32. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
With the New Orleans Saints at almost $20 million over their 2013 salary cap they need some help getting under it to comply with the league as well as be somewhat of a player in free agency this year. Linebacker Curtis Lofton was the first to step forward to be able to help out.
Actually I had listed in a previous article players who could help the Saints with the salary cap and Lofton was one of them as well as suggesting that his cap figure could be converted to a signing bonus. If you click the link, you also see others who will be able to clear some space as well.
Quarterback Drew Brees and guard Jahri Evans were mentioned as well as being someone who could help but Brees was mentioned as being unlikely to consider such a move. Yet NOLA.com Saints writer Nakia Hogan mentioned both as potential candidates yesterday in an article as ones who could help as well.
Lofton performed well last year and was someone that I thought would be the last one to be approached for a contract restructure. But it shows how committed the linebacker is to helping his team achieve it’s goal in winning a championship by being able to pull in necessary talent in free agency as well as help stay under the salary cap.
Other players should take note of the move by Lofton and look at themselves to help out in the same manner. Not to get the notion twisted though, Lofton is still getting his money.
His $7.1 millon cap hit was lowered to $3.1 million by converting a $5 million dollar roster bonus to a signing bonus. Still every little bit helps as free agency begins on March 12th which is also the date that all NFL teams must be under the league salary cap figure that is at $120.6 million.
The Saints will have several decisions to make in the coming weeks which includes the elephant in the room of what will become of defensive end Will Smith who will be a $14.5 million cap hit.