Step One: Part Ways With More Veterans and Conduct More Cap-Saving Maneuvers
As mentioned, the Saints are still $25 million over the cap. Thus, they have a lot of work left to do.
They have already parted ways with veterans such as Emmanuel Sanders, Janoris Jenkins, Jared Cook, Kwon Alexander, Josh Hill, and Thomas Morstead, but they are more cap casualties potential on the roster:
- Running back Latavius Murray has averaged 4.5 yards/carry in a timeshare with Alvin Kamara, but at this point, he is a luxury they cannot afford. We have seen this offense be able to maintain success no matter who the running back is; Ty Montgomery ran for over 100 yards in his one game as a starter this past season, after all. With Montgomery back on a minimum contract, New Orleans would be best served saving $2.5 million by cutting Murray, and acquiring more running back depth through undrafted free agency; Louisiana running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas would both be strong options and generate fanfare.
- Interior defender Malcom Brown has served as part of a very deep defensive line rotation for the Saints, and makes a great impact against the run. However, he once again is a) not a full-time player and b) doesn’t play a premium position, and they’re not in a position to be paying up for players of that nature. Moving on from the former first-round pick out of Texas would save about $5 million in cap space, and by all accounts, is something they are planning to do.
- Cutting ties with veteran defensive back Patrick Robinson would save $2.6 million. Given that he’s been a depth piece and hasn’t gotten much playing time during his second stint with the organization, I fully anticipate on them doing just that.
So, that’s an extra $10 million, which means from there on out, they may have to conduct more contract restructures. This unfortunately would push more money to future years, but it is something they may have to do just to get under the cap.
At the same time, though, the next two following moves would save cap space, to the point they may not even have to conduct any major restructuring on contracts: