John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Instead of going on a signing spree, the Saints spent the first day of the 2013 NFL free agency period freeing up money to go shopping later.
We have a clearer picture of the New Orleans Saints salary cap situation now that details regarding the restructured contracts of Saints defensive players Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma have been released.
Larry Holder, of course, was the first reporter with the new contract information:
#Saints Will Smith drops 2013 base salary to $3 million (originally $9 mil). Jonathan Vilma drops base to $1 million (originaly $4.8 mil).— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) March 13, 2013
Along with the release of linebacker Will Herring, here is a look at what the front office accomplished today:
|Player||Old 2013 Base Salary||New 2013 Base Salary||Cap Savings|
|Will Herring||Released||Released||$1.6 million|
|Will Smith||$9 million||$3 million||$6 million|
|Jonathan Vilma||$4.8 million||$1 million||$3.8 million|
Indeed, Larry Holder confirms that the Saints have saved about $11 million dollars in cap space with their work today.
#Saints saved around $11.4 million w:restructures, releasing Herring. If team was $6 mil over to start today, looks like they're $5.4M under— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) March 13, 2013
In reality, we don't really know where the Saints stand with regard to the salary cap, only the Saints do. I've seen lots of different numbers from different sources. WWL-TV believes the Saints saved more money today and are even further below the cap.
#Saints saved about $12.4 million today. Now reside about $7.8 million beneath cap.— WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) March 13, 2013
There's no telling who is more accurate. But no matter whose numbers you use, the Saints are definitely under the salary cap.