In 2015, the Saints saw enough from Garrett Grayson during the preseason to keep their third-round pick on the roster. They signed the rookie to a contract that paid him a base salary of $435,000 and a signing bonus of $733,167. His career earnings through the 2015 season are $1,168,167.
With his preseason performance in 2015, I freely admit I thought the team should have gone with him as their backup over veteran Luke McCown. What do I know? After a disappointing 2016 preseason performance, the Saints released Grayson on Sept. 7. This added $183,292 to the dead money pool. After clearing waivers, he was resigned to the practice squad for a paltry $117,300.
Fast forward to Oct. 14 and the Saints claimed another quarterback off waivers from the Green Bay Packers, Joe Callahan. Packers coach Mike McCarthy is on record as saying they hoped Callahan would clear waivers and could then be put on the practice squad. They lost that gamble as the Saints claimed him and he is now on the team’s active roster.
Callahan had an impressive preseason by throwing for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Not only is Callahan on the active roster, but also it’s worth noting that his 3-year contract pays a total of $1,620,000. His cap hit for 2016 doesn’t count against the Top-51 in terms of the cap limit, and none of it is guaranteed, but you have to wonder if the team is looking at moving on from Grayson.
Once a player is claimed, the new team picks up his previous contract. In Callahan’s case, this means a base salary of $317,640 in 2016, $540,000 in 2017, and $630,000 in 2018. Callahan would then be a restricted free agent (RFA). Of course the Saints could always release him at anytime, but the Saints took this shot with no apparent need, and you have to wonder about Garrett Grayson’s future.