Smart Spending Continues For The New Orleans Saints
By Dean Mullen
While NFL Free Agency has just begun, the Saints are being wise with their cash so far. Presumably, that is the plan in 2017. The budgetary strategy seems to be paying off, by distributing out the cap space in a conservative way.
The New Orleans Saint came into this offseason with a considerable amount of cap space when compared to recent years. This year, the Saints went into 2017 with a little over $27 million in cap space. These six players were signed on as free agents in the last week. Josh Katzenstein from Nola.com reported these numbers in his article:
Guard Larry Warford: $3.8 million
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley: $3 million
Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr.: $3 million
Linebacker A.J. Klein $2.8 million
Safety Chris Banjo: $1.05 million
Safety Shiloh Keo: $615,000
The numbers are encouraging at least for this year’s cap. Spotrac.com breaks down most of these contracts by each year. Ultimately, the Saints did very well, as far as getting six players for a good bargain. Guard Larry Warford is a huge signing to upgrade the offensive line. Also, getting Nick Fairley to sign a deal will also send a message to players. Perform on a high level and you’ll get paid.
On the other hand, there is some concerns going into 2018 and 2019. Fairley and Warford’s contract nearly double in those years combined for about $20 million for just those two players. In any case, the evidence is clear that there is that sense of urgency for at least this year.
The one minor bruise that was clearly taken painfully, was the uneven deal with the Brandin Cooks trade. The Saints acquired an extra draft pick in the first round. However, in return, they gave up a fourth round pick back to the Patriots. Who Dat Nation will have to wait and see how the season ends up to fully grade this, but it feels like a loss.
Regardless, the Saints are getting some high marks for their moves. CBS Sports gave the Saints an ‘A’ for the moves so far this year. The word on the street is also agreeing with the decisions that are being made by the Black and Gold. Very impressive stuff achieved for the first week. Loomis and Payton should be satisfied with the first round.
There’s still room for another free agent or two to bring on. But the big enchilada comes later in April, when the Saints draft some new players. At least there is something to clap about in this last week.