Saints salary cap space update after Nick Easton release, Drew Brees pay cut

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A couple of expected roster moves have helped the New Orleans Saints in their efforts to get beneath the 2021 salary cap. Between a pay cut for franchise quarterback Drew Brees (likely preluding his retirement) that freed up $23.925 million and the release of guard Nick Easton, which saved $5.875 million. Those maneuvers combined to take $29.8 million off the books.

That puts the Saints at more than $252.3 million in cap commitments for 2021, which runs against the latest report of a $180 million salary cap. It could be higher than that, and New Orleans submitted $4.1 million in unspent cap space rollover to help close the gap, but we’ll play it conservative and use the low end of salary cap estimates. Like every other team, the Saints won’t get that additional rollover cap space until it’s gone through NFL auditing.

So, for now, the Saints are roughly $72.3 million in the red. They have a lot of work to do still with some levers being easier to pull (releasing tight end Jared Cook, avoiding an $8.04 million roster bonus due on March 19) than others (hammering out long-term extensions with cornerback Marshon Lattimore and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who account for a combined $21.3 million on their fifth-year options). There are also a number of restructures they can negotiate with cornerstone players to quickly reach cap compliance.

It’s going to be an exciting offseason in New Orleans, or at least a complicated one. Be sure to check this space often for updates on the latest news.

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