Newly released defensive end J.J. Watt may be too expensive for the Saints, but here is what a run at the superstar would cost the team.
The New Orleans Saints, who are in need of a quarterback after the impending retirement of Drew Brees, may be able to craft a potential trade for Texans’ Deshaun Watson despite having very little viable cap to spend this offseason.
The Texans made waves on Friday when they and superstar defensive end J.J. Watt made a mutual agreement to part ways via the release of Watt. With Watt now on the open market and the Saints having no open cap to spend, is there any way the two parties can come together?
J.J. Watt is not at a point in his career where he is going to be willing to take a vastly reduced salary to sign with a Super Bowl contender. Therefore, if New Orleans was going to come to a deal with the superstar, they are going to have to find the money.
Watt is coming off of a 6-year, $100 million deal which saw his annual salary at roughly $16.7 million. Here’s how it could be done. Let’s just say that the Saints would have to release enough cap to be able to spend $16 million per year.
The first casualty would be Malcolm Jenkins. He is already past his prime and New Orleans has Chauncey Gardner-Johnson who could easily take his place. That would save the team $4.95 million per year minus the dead cap hit.
A cut of Taysom Hill would be next; he would save the team $5 million per year. Kwon Alexander has no dead cap so he would straight save the team $13 million if they were to cut him. That already has us to the annual salary of J.J. Watt.
Then again, those moves may be forced to happen anyway as part of the team’s potential cap-reducing operations. No defensive end cuts would be worth it.
I wouldn’t cut Marcus Davenport because his salary for 2021 is equal to his dead cap so he wouldn’t save the money. The team wouldn’t release Cam Jordan, and Trey Hendrickson is already an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
So in essence, it would take cutting Malcolm Jenkins, Taysom Hill, and Kwon Alexander in order to make up the salary of J.J. Watt. Unfortunately, they need to save a lot more cap space in other areas before even thinking about signing this massive.