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Team Players: New Orleans Saints’ Colston, Hawthorne both take generous pay cuts

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Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) reacts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Team players are defined by people who will do anything, no matter the cost, to help their organization.  After the news today, it’s safe to say both New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston and LB David Hawthorne are true team players.

It was reported last week that Colston had worked out a deal to restructure his contract with the Black and Gold.  However, I don’ t think anybody ever imagined that meant cutting more than $5 million off his base salary.

He dropped from $6.9 million due in salary to $1.445 million in 2015.  After salary and bonuses, the New Orleans will take a total cap hit of $6.5 million from Colston this year compared to the initial $9.7 million.  Saints fans knew about the humbled Colston and his plan to stay in the Big Easy and retire, but this truly proves his loyalty to the team.

He is the franchise’s all-time leading receiver in receptions, yards and touchdowns.  However, between age and health, leading to route separation and dropped passes, Colston’s overall performance has taken somewhat of a decline, especially in 2014 where he caught just 59 passes — he’ll look to bounce back this season.

Linebacker David Hawthorne took a generous pay cut as well to remain with the New Orleans Saints and help the team’s cap situation, which is beginning to look solid for a run at some intriguing free agents.

He reduced his base salary from $2 million to $1.19 million for 2015 and $4 million to $1.75 million for 2016.  Between salary and bonuses, Hawthorne’s overall cap charge will drop a total of $2 million this year.

As the New Orleans Saints work towards bettering their cap figures to pursue some free agents, more pay cuts and/or player cuts are possible.  Will QB Drew Brees step up and help his team?

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