As the New Orleans Saints saw their season come to a disappointing end, the focus quickly turns to the 2018 season. Arguably, the Saints exceeded many expectations, and should be commended for overcoming the dreaded 0-2 start to make it to the postseason, win the NFC South, and pick up their first playoff victory since 2013.
The future is bright for Sean Payton’s squad, as the current salary cap space estimate puts them just shy of $32 million. Using Loomisnomics, that’s pretty generous. Here’s a look at the team’s Top 10 salary cap hits for the new season. All salary cap data is courtesy of Over The Cap.
Cameron Jordan, DE
Cap hit: $14.24 million
Base salary: $8.4 million
Notes: Contracted through 2020, counts for 8.0% of team’s 2018 salary cap, has a prorated bonus of $4.94 million with a $800K roster and $100K workout bonus.
Terron Armstead, OT
Cap hit: $13.5 million
Base salary: $10.2 million ($6.2 million guaranteed)
Notes: Contracted through 2021, counts for 7.6% of 2018 salary cap, has a prorated bonus of $3.2 million with a $100K workout bonus. The Saints converted $5 million of his roster bonus into a signing bonus in March 2017.
Larry Warford, OG
Cap hit: $9 million
Base salary: $4.25 million ($6.9 million guaranteed)
Notes: Contracted through 2020, has a prorated bonus of $2.1 million with a roster bonus of $2.65 million.
Coby Fleener, TE
Cap hit: $8 million
Base salary: $6.3 million
Notes: Contracted through 2020, carries a $1.6 million prorated roster bonus along with a $100K roster bonus. A post-June 1 cut for Fleener saves the Saints $6.4 million, and carries $1.6 million in dead money for 2018.
Max Unger, C
Cap hit: $8 million
Base salary: $4.5 million
Notes: Contracted through 2019, owed equal amounts of $1.75 million in roster and prorated bonuses for 2018.
Nick Fairley, DT
Cap hit: $7 million
Base salary: $4.25 million
Notes: Contracted through 2020, currently 3.9% of team’s 2018 salary cap, due a $2 million prorated bonus along with a $750K roster bonus. With his football future in question, it’s something to keep an eye on. In Tuesday’s press conference with Sean Payton, he was asked about Fairley’s status, to which Payton responded that was a question for Mickey (Loomis).
Mark Ingram, RB
Cap hit: $6.245 million
Base salary: $4 million
Notes: In the final year of his contract, due a $1.645 million prorated bonus along with a $500K roster and $100K workout bonus. There was much confusion on him becoming a free agent by making the first-team All-Pro business, but that didn’t happen.
Drew Brees, QB
Cap hit: $6 million
Base salary: None
Notes: The one-year contract extension Brees signed in 2016 was worth $24.25 million, which is all guaranteed. The move reduced the salary cap hit for the Saints for some short-term relief, but they’re on the hook for $18 million to pay out to him. Keep in mind, this really comes into play if the contract voids from the team not being able to reach an extension on the final day of the 2017 league year (March 14) because New Orleans can see that tacked onto the 2018 salary cap. Timing is key.
A.J. Klein, LB
Cap hit: $5.2 million
Base salary: $4.1 million ($3.7 million guaranteed)
Notes: Contracted through 2020, carrying a $1 million prorated bonus with a $100K workout bonus.
Zach Strief, OT
Cap hit: $5.1 million
Base salary: $1.1 million
Notes: In final year of his contract, set to collect a $1.1 million prorated bonus, $2.8 million roster bonus, and $100K workout bonus. Cutting Strief, who is unsure on his football future, as a pre or post-June 1 allows them to save $4 million in cap space, with a $1.1 million dead money charge.
The Next 5
- Thomas Morstead, P - $4.85 million
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR - $4.5 million
- Andrus Peat, OL - $3.62 million
- Sheldon Rankins, DL - $3.49 million
- Marshon Lattimore, CB - $3.49 million