Saints have started clearing cap space, restructuring contract of key offensive piece

The New Orleans Saints will once again have to clear a ton of cap space this offseason and they have started that process with a contract restructure.

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

You’ve probably heard this before: the New Orleans Saints enter the offseason significantly over the salary cap. That has become a tradition for the franchise in recent years. As a result, the Saints typically spend most of the offseason restructuring contracts and moving on from players so that they can get under the legal salary cap.

While the 2024 salary cap hasn’t officially been announced yet, New Orleans has already started its annual cap clearing process. On Thursday, it was reported by NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero that the Saints restructured the contract of Pro Bowl center Erik McCoy.

Saints restructure Eric McCoy’s contract

Erik McCoy, who was drafted by the team in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has been starting since his rookie year. Ahead of the 2022 season, the final year of McCoy’s rookie contract, he and the Saints agreed on a five-year extension worth $60 million. It proved to be a good deal as McCoy went on to make his first Pro Bowl this past season.

According to Pelissero, the conversion that New Orleans did with McCoy’s contract frees up $7.18 million in cap space. Certainly a great start, but the Saints will still have to clear an additional 70-80 million dollars, so expect many more moves to come.

With the salary cap situation in New Orleans being what it is, people all throughout the league have been speculating on the moves the Saints will make. Some of the speculation includes the Saints moving on from some of their biggest contracts, even though they are tied to key players like Alvin Kamara. With an NFC South title being in reach for the Saints, it’s unlikely that they’ll just cut their best players. The realistic path to salary cap compliance for New Orleans is more moves like the one it made with Erik McCoy.