Saints release guard Nick Easton, saving almost $6 million in cap space

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

The next domino has fallen on the New Orleans Saints offseason. The team reported the release of veteran guard Nick Easton on Friday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire, a move that creates $5.875 million in 2021 salary cap space.

However, this wasn’t purely a panic-driven move in New Orleans’ dive to get beneath the salary cap. Easton’s level of play — and injury history — didn’t line up with the $6.875 million he was due to account for in 2021. With just $1 million guaranteed to Easton and good options along the interior line, it makes sense for the Saints to go this route.

Additionally, Easton was sidelined three times by concussions in 2020, ultimately missing seven weeks over the course of the season (including the playoffs) while dealing with symptoms. Retirement should be a serious consideration for him this offseason after suffering so many brain injuries in such short a span.

Still, he was a good player for the Saints. Easton started 15 of the 22 games he appeared in over the last two years and played so well that rookie first-round draft pick Cesar Ruiz couldn’t displace him at right guard. He was an important stabilizing presence in the wake of Max Unger’s 2019 retirement and Larry Warford’s 2020 release.

Additionally, the Saints reported the release of two backup tight ends on Friday: Cole Wick and Jason Vander Laan, both of whom opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They now have 56 players under contract against the 90-man offseason roster limit.

List

Which Saints should be untouchable in 2021 cap cuts, trade talks?