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NFL Free Agency: Saints Restructure Deals with Cameron Jordan, Thomas Morstead to Create Salary Cap Space

The Saints have been active this offseason, trying to add talent that will take them back to the playoffs. But, cap woes have been a dark cloud that has hung over them all offseason. That changed, slightly, Tuesday, as New Orleans announced they had added cap space by reworking the deals of Jordan and Morstead.

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ESPN and multiple outlets reported Tuesday morning that the Saints had restructured the contracts of defensive end Cameron Jordan and punter Thomas Morstead in an effort to create more cap room.

The Saints cap woes were well-documented this offseason, but, with the restructurings, the Saints have now added more than $3.5 million in cap space. The restructures did not require either player to take a pay cut. Instead, New Orleans opted for a simple restructure by converting the players’ base salaries into signing bonuses, thus spreading out the cap cost over several years.

For example, Jordan, who is due $3.5 million in base salary, was able to take $2.735 million of that and roll it over into signing bonus money. Signing bonuses are spread out over the life of the contract evenly. This means that while the $2.735 million was originally slated as base salary and would all count against the cap, turning it into signing bonus money not only creates $2.188 million in cap room, but it also means that now that $2.735 million only counts $547,000 against the cap for the next 4 years.

The same can be said for Morstead, who rolled $2.1 million of his $3 million deal into signing bonus money. The result? $1.4 million more in cap space created for the Saints.

New Orleans will need as much cap as they can get. They signed defensive tackle Nick Fairley to a 1-year deal on Monday. With the details of the contract still undisclosed, no one is quite sure just how much cap space the Saints are going to have going forward. Pending the details, the Fairley deal could very well be the last signing of the offseason for New Orleans.