Saints release CB Janoris Jenkins in first difficult salary cap cut

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
John Sigler
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The hits keep coming for the New Orleans Saints, with multiple reports breaking news on Thursday of the termination of their contract with cornerback Janoris Jenkins. NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill suggested a release could be coming, which was confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move saves New Orleans $7 million against the salary cap.

And this one hits differently from the team’s previous cap cuts. Jenkins was the team’s most consistent cornerback last season, sometimes outplaying No. 1 cover corner Marshon Lattimore when the youngster’s effort flagged against the lesser competition. He came away with 12 pass deflections (3 interceptions) as well as 55 combined tackles (44 solo, 2 for loss) in 13 games with the Saints.

Jenkins was owed a $10 million base salary this year that could have been converted into a signing bonus to save cap room, but his age (32) and the volatility of the position made that option undesirable. It’s also possible he was reluctant to take a pay cut, instead preferring to test free agency.

This is a big loss. Jenkins’ departure puts veteran backup Patrick Robinson in the spot to replace him, unless Robinson is also a cap casualty — in which case the Saints would have to ask someone like Grant Haley or Keith Washington to make the jump from the practice squad to covering Chris Godwin and Calvin Ridley each week.

It’s certainly a more practical loss than previous cap cuts, like wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (who caught 3 passes or fewer in half the games he played) or linebacker Kwon Alexander (who appeared in just 7 games for the Saints). But that’s the cost of doing business against a depressed salary cap, especially after assigning the lucrative franchise tag to free safety Marcus Williams. Tough cuts like this are inevitable in the Saints’ situation.