Saints restructure David Onyemata, save $4.3 million in cap space

The New Orleans Saints have restructured the contract of defensive linemen David Onyemata. This will help alleviate some of their strain on their cap.

The move converts some of Onyemata’s 2021 salary to a signing bonus. While this will add to the Saints’ cap hit in 2022, Mickey Loomis and the New Orleans front office are still operating with what seems to be a winnow attitude.

Loomis and company are no strangers to manipulating a tricky cap scenario.

Malcolm Brown has been rumored to be available via trade, a trade of Brown in addition to the re-structure of Onyemata’s contract would free up around $10 million for New Orleans. Sheldon Rankins is also expected not to re-sign as his market would be far bigger elsewhere.

Onyemata has been a key piece to a very dominant defensive line. The former Manitoba defensive tackle racked up 6.5 sacks in 2020 to go along with 44 combined tackles and an interception. He also had a forced fumble and 42 quarterback hits.

Keeping Onyemata around is a great move for New Orleans. At his current salary, he offers great defensive line versatility and experience in the Saints system.

His familiarity with defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s scheme as well as chemistry with Cam Jordan and company should serve to keep the core of the front seven mostly intact for the 2021 season.

While the quarterback position still remains a relative mystery for the Saints moves like this indicate that despite being cash strapped the Saints still view themselves as contenders and intend to maintain their extremely competitive ways in 2021.

This will likely be one of the first moves in a laundry list of maneuvers out of the Big Easy this offseason. The Saints are in dire straits when it comes to the cap, aggravated by the increasingly likely chance that the cap will see a reduction for 2021.

One of the things that makes Mickey Loomis an extremely effective general manager in the NFL is his ability to keep the team together through financial hardship.