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Saints Rookie Contracts: Cap 2016 & 2017: Is Drew Brees a Saint in 2017

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Well, all The Saints Rookies have been signed. Still no Drew Brees extension. Seems I remember someone saying it wasn't a necessity. Below I'll break down the rookie contracts, the 2016 cap as it stands and what it could mean going into 2017.

I still say he's going to bite that tongue off one day!
I still say he's going to bite that tongue off one day!
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

All the rookies from the 2016 draft class are now under contract. I'll give a breakdown of the contract details, all via Spotrac. I'll also look at the cap numbers, both by Spotrac and Overthecap, who both show us over the limit. The NFLPA which has the official numbers show us with $678,105 in surplus money to play with. There you go Mickey, only you could turn that into future dead money.

The Contracts:

Sheldon Rankins: DT

Sheldon Rankins

signed a 4 year, $12,801,648 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $7,510,289 signing bonus, $12,801,648 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,200,412. In 2016, Rankins will earn a base salary of $450,000 and a signing bonus of $7,510,289. Rankins has a cap hit of $2,327,572 while his dead money value is $12,351,648.

CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $12,801,648 SIGNING BONUS$7,510,289 AVERAGE SALARY$3,200,412 GUARANTEED:$12,801,648 FREE AGENT:2021 / UFA
YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS WORKOUT BONUS CAP HIT DEAD CAP
2016 Contract details by year 22 $450,000 $1,877,572 - $2,327,572 $12,351,648
2017 Contract details by year 23 $1,031,893 $1,877,572 - $2,909,465 $10,474,076
2018 Contract details by year 24 $1,613,786 $1,877,572 - $3,491,358 $7,564,611
2019 Contract details by year 25 $2,195,680 $1,877,573 - $4,073,253 $4,073,253
2020 Contract details by year 26 - - - - -
2021 Free Agent Year 27 UFA
Contract Notes:
  • 5th-year option available
  • Fully guaranteed

Rankins was drafted with the 12th pick of the 1st round. A no-brainer for most of the draft pundits, I'd have gone with a pass rushing DE, but what do I know. For better or worse, Rankins contract is fully guaranteed. If they decide to pick up his 5th year option in 2020 we'll have a better idea on this pick.

Michael Thomas: WR

Michael Thomas

signed a 4 year, $5,118,971 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $1,922,888 signing bonus, $2,605,569 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,279,743. In 2016, Thomas will earn a base salary of $450,000 and a signing bonus of $1,922,888. Thomas has a cap hit of $930,722 while his dead money value is $2,605,569.

CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $5,118,971 SIGNING BONUS$1,922,888 AVERAGE SALARY$1,279,743 GUARANTEED:$2,605,569 FREE AGENT:2020 / UFA
YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS WORKOUT BONUS CAP HIT DEAD CAP
2016 Contract details by year 23 $450,000 $480,722 - $930,722 $2,605,569
2017 Contract details by year 24 $682,681 $480,722 - $1,163,403 $1,380,723
2018 Contract details by year 25 $915,361 $480,722 - $1,396,083 $961,444
2019 Contract details by year 26 $1,148,041 $480,722 - $1,628,763 $480,722
2020 Free Agent Year 27 UFA
Contract Notes:

Thomas was taken with the 47th pick in the second round. I am satisfied with this pick. So tell me again why we are looking at so many vets. 2016 and 2017 salaries are guaranteed and a little less than a mil to eat if he doesn't. The Saints expect him to complement Cooks and Snead, as well as hopefully replace Marques Colston. Do you think Brandon Coleman's role may be in jeopardy?

Vonn Bell: DB

I call him a DB because while he is expected to play as a Safety, you know the Saints and their tendency to change a players role. With Bell it could be even more possible since he also has experience as a CB.

Vonn Bell signed a 4 year, $3,972,299 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $1,088,945 signing bonus, $1,088,945 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $993,075. In 2016, Bell will earn a base salary of $450,000 and a signing bonus of $1,088,945. Bell has a cap hit of $722,236 while his dead money value is $1,088,945.

CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $3,972,299 SIGNING BONUS$1,088,945 AVERAGE SALARY$993,075 GUARANTEED:$1,088,945 FREE AGENT:2020 / UFA

YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS WORKOUT BONUS CAP HIT DEAD CAP
2016 Contract details by year 21 $450,000 $272,236 - $722,236 $1,088,945
2017 Contract details by year 22 $630,559 $272,236 - $902,795 -
2018 Contract details by year 23 $811,118 $272,236 - $1,083,354 -
2019 Contract details by year 24 $991,677 $272,237 - $1,263,914 $272,237
2020 Free Agent Year 25

I like the player. I don't like losing the picks to move back into the 2nd round. The Saints trade both their 3rd and fourth round picks. Of his contract, only the signing bonus and his 2016 salary is guaranteed. His cap hit for 2016 is only $722,236. Bell was taken with the 61st pick, again in the 2nd round.

David Onyemata: DT

The Saints seem to have a fascination with Canadian football players. Onyemata is a DT who many think the Saints may be used as a DE in their defensive philosophy, whatever that may be.

David Onyemata signed a 4 year, $2,882,345 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $542,345 signing bonus, $542,345 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $720,586. In 2016, Onyemata will earn a base salary of $450,000 and a signing bonus of $542,345. Onyemata has a cap hit of $585,586 while his dead money value is $542,345.

CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $2,882,345 SIGNING BONUS$542,345 AVERAGE SALARY$720,586 GUARANTEED:$542,345 FREE AGENT:2020 / UFA

YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS WORKOUT BONUS CAP HIT DEAD CAP
2016 Contract details by year $450,000 $135,586 - $585,586 $542,345
2017 Contract details by year $540,000 $135,586 - $675,586 $406,758
2018 Contract details by year $630,000 $135,586 - $765,586 $271,172
2019 Contract details by year $720,000 $135,586 - $855,586 $135,586
2020 Free Agent Year 1 UFA

Taken with the 120th pick in round 4, my main problem, again, is with the picks given up. They gave up the 5th round picks for both 2016 and 2017 to grab this one. If they ever trade down, I don't know if my poor old heart can take it. David carries a cap hit of $585,586. Only his signing bonus, $542,345 is guaranteed, so he either makes it in camp or could end up on the practice squad.  Really didn't see the need to trade back into the 4th round with so many other players of need still available. Fortunately some good UDFA signings blunted the pain of this one.

Daniel Lasco: RB

Really, another running back? Again thanks Jesus1000 for the UDFA signings.

Daniel Lasco signed a 4 year, $2,415,479 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $75,479 signing bonus, $75,479 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $603,870. In 2016, Lasco will earn a base salary of $450,000 and a signing bonus of $75,479. Lasco has a cap hit of $468,869 while his dead money value is $75,479.

CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $2,415,479 SIGNING BONUS$75,479 AVERAGE SALARY$603,870 GUARANTEED:$75,479 FREE AGENT:2020 / UFA

YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS WORKOUT BONUS CAP HIT DEAD CAP
2016 Contract details by year 23 $450,000 $18,869 - $468,869 $75,479
2017 Contract details by year 24 $540,000 $18,869 - $558,869 $56,610
2018 Contract details by year 25 $630,000 $18,869 - $648,869 $37,741
2019 Contract details by year 26 $720,000 $18,872 - $738,872 $18,872
2020 Free Agent Year 27 UFA

Lasco was taken with the 237th pick of the 7th round and, gasp, we didn't have to trade picks for him. The 7th round is largely considered a crap shoot anyway and Lasco's best shot at making the team is probably going to be with special teams. His cap hit is out of the top 51, so no pain there, and only his signing bonus is guaranteed.

Spotrac has us $593,266 over the cap and Overthecap has us over by $423,969. Pretty sure this had something to do with the release of kicker Josh Scobee. None of his $985,000 salary was guaranteed. Remember we also have Brandon Browners' June 1st cut designation, which will free up even more dollars for Loomis to salivate over.

So what does any of this have to do with Drew Brees. With no contract extension, Drew will be a UFA in 2017. The Tag would be almost prohibitive and would actually eat up all of the projected cap space for 2017. Based on the projected cap for 2017 we would have about 40 mil in cap space. We all know what Mickey could do with that, so a new contract for Mr. Brees is still very likely. The key will be Drew staying healthy and productive. That's the main reason why I like that they haven't done an extension yet. The only problem with this approach would be a possible wage battle in 2017, if they let him hit the free agent market. Relax folks, there is still plenty of time to resolve this. Worst case, we are as bad as some are projecting for us by the end of December, and the Saints decide to let Drew test the market. At that time we would probably be in full rebuild mode. So why worry about it now? Sean Payton has a new contract extension in the books, but we know that this can be rather fluid in the NFL coaching carousel.  I view the 2016 season as a make it or break it, for both Sean and his favorite QB. I see no steep "decline" with Drew, but he still needs a complete team to surround him if he expects or hopes for another championship. The future Hall-of-Famer, and the Saints need to take full stock going forward.