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How far away are the Saints from salary cap compliance?

The New Orleans Saints took a couple of important steps towards reaching salary cap compliance on Thursday, restructuring their deal with standout right tackle Ryan Ramczyk while agreeing to bring back struggling kicker Wil Lutz on a pay cut. These two moves saved a combined $11.8 million in salary cap space, leaving New Orleans over the 2023 salary cap by about $35.5 million.

Not bad considering they were over the cap by more than $58 million just a few weeks ago, and they haven’t lost a single player. With free agency on the horizon in March, it’s vital that the Saints continue to set up their books to keep their best talent in town and prepare for new additions. So what comes next?

We’ve outlined the many different roster moves and contract restructures available to the Saints this offseason, but there are a couple of obvious decisions ahead of them. Let’s recap them in brief:

  • DE Cameron Jordan: Restructure (saving $10,001,250) or extension (saving $10,668,000)

  • CB Marshon Lattimore: Restructure (saving $10,065,000)

  • LG Andrus Peat: Restructure (saving $7,995,000) or release with post-June 1 designation (saving $11,825,000)

  • QB Jameis Winston: Release with post-June 1 designation (saving $12,800,000)

Teams are allowed to release just two players with a post-June 1 designation, though, and that’s also a likely option for wide receiver Michael Thomas (saving $1,165,000), so it could be more feasible to restructure Peat’s deal and let him play it out. The point is that the Saints have several avenues ahead of them in reaching salary cap compliance, and these four moves alone would do it. After that, they’ll be looking to open up more room for signing free agents in the weeks ahead.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire