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Saints restructure Derek Carr’s contract for 2024, as expected

Here it is: the New Orleans Saints are restructuring their contract with quarterback Derek Carr on Friday, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. This was the expected move. Beyond being laid out in the initial structure of Carr’s deal, Nola.com’s Luke Johnson previously reported that the Saints intended to follow through on it. The end result: Carr gets more financial security in the future, while the Saints get more salary cap resources to work with this offseason.

Carr’s $35.7 million salary cap hip was the highest on the team, so they had to make a change. By reducing his $30 million base salary to the league minimum and paying out the difference as a signing bonus — which, remember, is not a pay cut — the Saints are bring Carr’s 2024 cap hit down to just over $12.6 million.

This was the expected move all along. The Saints had already guaranteed Carr’s salary for 2024 and restructuring like this makes it easier to pay that out from an accounting perspective; the $23 million saved will go towards reaching cap compliance and adding more help in free agency.

But that’s not to say it comes without cost. Restructuring Carr’s contract like this will add $4.6 million in proration to each year remaining on his contract, which raises his salary cap hits in 2025 and 2026 to $50.3 million and $60.3 million, respectively. If the Saints don’t touch Carr’s contract again after this and have him play on those massive cap hits (which they won’t), he’ll leave behind more than $19.5 million in dead money when his deal voids in 2027.

Again, that’s not going to happen. We’ll very likely be back here next year for this same restructure strategy, kicking the can down the road in accordance with the rise of the salary cap. One thing to note: Carr has a $10 million roster bonus due in 2025 which will become guaranteed on March 15, 2024, so the Saints are only tying themselves closer to him by restructuring their contract. Hopefully Carr can perform as well as expected with Klint Kubiak calling plays to justify these costs.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire