Saints moving on from a veteran defender after an underwhelming tenure

It has been reported that the New Orleans Saints plan to release one of the team’s veteran defenders this offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have spent the early part of the NFL offseason restructuring contracts to clear cap space. It has now been reported that the team is entering the next stage of clearing cap space: releasing players. On Thursday, it was reported that the Saints informed veteran safety Marcus Maye that he will be released.

While the details of the release haven’t officially been released, the expectation is that Maye will be designated as a June 1 cut. If he is released before then, New Orleans would only free up $1.19 million in cap space. Waiting until June 1 would save the Saints $7.2 million.

Saints are releasing Marcus Maye

Maye signed a three-year contract worth $22.5 million with New Orleans in 2022. Unfortunately, health kept his tenure from being as impactful as everyone hoped. In the two seasons he played with the Saints, he played in just 17 total games. Maye did start all 17, recording 97 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack.

Now, turning 31 this offseason, Maye will be searching for a new team and New Orleans will be searching for a new safety. The team still has Tyrann Mathieu, but Johnathan Abram will be entering free agency this offseason and so will Lonnie Johnson Jr.

This could open up the door for Jordan Howden to have a breakout season in his second year in the league. After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Howden played in 16 games, starting seven as a rookie. He recorded 43 tackles and one sack. He may just be the next man up now, taking over the safety job full time.

It’s also still very early in the offseason, which means the Saints could address safety in free agency and the NFL Draft. With the release of Marcus Maye, the safety position is officially added to the team’s list of needs.