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“The Curious Case of Missing Saints Offseason Moves”

Remember the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?”

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

You know the offseason is sort of like cooking a Gumbo in a slow cooker. Every thing is slow.

You use the same ingredients, less fluids, which is represented for the Saints as cap space, but you do have to fix some of the ingredients ahead of combining them in the slow cooker.

The roux, or dollars in this case usually need to be addressed first. Other teams across the league are cutting players to make cap space, at least notifying players of their intention to do so, but nothing from the Saints. We have rumors and innuendo. They plan on placing a 1st round tag on Taysom Hill, and the Saints intend to bring QB Drew Brees back for another go.

Well let exam these two in a little detail. Start off with Drew Brees. According to the NFLPA (with an unadjusted cap), the Saints have $812,292 in cap space. Yes this is based on last season’s numbers and not the projected cap. The thing is no one knows what the true cap number will be. Spotrac using $199 million as the projected cap, has the Saints with $12,302,100. That’s for the top 51. The Saints have until midnight 3-18-20 to do something with his contract. Drew already counts for $15,900,000 in voided money against the 2020 cap, but another $5,400,000 accelerates from 2021 to raise his hit to $21,300,000.

If they place the 1st round tag on Taysom Hill, who is a RFA, this is expected to cost around $5 million.

The Saints meet with Eli Apple and on 5-1-2019 they declined to pick up his 5th year option. That effectively removed $13,703,000 from the cap. However, there has been no news of any restructures or cuts made to free up more space. Why is this we wonder. I think the big thorn is the new CBA which the players are in the process of voting on. Their vote deadline was extended to Monday 3-16-20 and could have a direct bearing. It is expected to bring an additional $700 million to the players pockets if ratified. If I’m understanding it right this would mean an extra $21+ million in cap space. A lot is hinging on this vote, so it’s maybe not a surprise the Saints are taking things slowly. They do have deadlines but waiting is still an option.

The NFL extended one deadline already because the vote was delayed.

The tag deadline was supposed to have been 3-10-20. The Saints don’t have a history of using the tags usually, and can’t tag Drew Brees in any case. The new CBA would eliminate the transition tag leaving only the franchise tag as an option if approved.

A lot to take in so discuss your feelings in the comments.