2017 free agency: Saints primed for big offseason

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Aug 30, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis before a preseason game against the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis before a preseason game against the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Saints are poised to enter 2017 with around $34 million in cap space. And with no major expiring contracts, Payton and Loomis will finally have some flexibility entering free agency.

The NFL salary cap is expected to jump up to somewhere in the ballpark of $165 million. The Saints are sitting pretty, with 44 players under contract, at a total cap hit of just $131 million. It’s the most space the Saints have had entering free agency in quite a while.

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Many of you will object: what about all of the dead money the Saints have piled up? Well, good news on that front. Two bits of good news, actually!

First, that dead money is finally coming down to a reasonable figure. After spending upwards of $45 million (!) in dead money in 2016, the Saints are looking at a meager $9 million in 2017. And as of now, they’d have no dead money in 2018. So much for salary cap hell.

And second, for the first time, the Saints will add more to their cap with rollover space than they’ll lose in dead money. The Saints figure to rollover $9.6 million in leftover cap space from 2017. I was a bit surprised when I learned this. It’s a relatively new system. In 2012 the NFL agreed to allow cap space to

It’s a relatively new system. In 2012 the NFL agreed to allow cap space to rollover from year to year. The average team in 2017 will have $6.4 million in added cap space from their 2016 space.

Without any major players to resign, that puts the Saints in a very solid position moving forward.

A total of 25 players will enter free agency from the Saints roster. Three of those are ERFA, and four are RFA. The remaining 18 are UFA. We’ve broken down each group. It get’s complicated once you get to the UFAs.

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