The Saints have signed their draft class— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) June 8, 2021
This is obviously a big update for the team, however, the bigger news however comes in addition. As of this morning, according to the NFL Players Association website, the Saints sit at only $348K of salary cap space.
Earlier projections expected that New Orleans would need around $2.5M in order to get their six-player draft class under contract.
Now that the league is beyond June 1st, the Saints could have made Drew Brees’ retirement financially official. However, that would not have opened up the necessary funds for these moves to be made.
As it turns out, in order to make the room, the Saints restructured starting cornerback Marshon Lattimore’s contract.
To create room, the #Saints converted CB Marshon Lattimore‘s $10.2M fifth year option to a $990K base salary and the rest in a roster bonus with voidable years. They’ll keep working on an extension. https://t.co/LmOn2MlnZv— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 8, 2021
This is an interesting choice as opposed to landing on an extension. But it looks like the restructure opens up a much larger sum than an extension would have while making sure Lattimore still gets his money. Potentially in addition could be more on the way, as Rapoport mentions.
Regardless, getting the rookie class under contract is great for New Orleans as they head into mandatory minicamp next week, expecting 100% attendance.
Might not seem like much since Lattimore still gets his money, but this is extremely helpful to the team and puts some moves back on the board when it looked like there was no way to create space except through extensions. https://t.co/4Kpfwwoqrl— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) June 8, 2021
Update: June 8 - 3:45 PM CT
As Brad Spielberger lays out below, a max restructure would create about $7.4M for the Saints to have in their coffers before the rookie class signing amount is subtracted. Here’s how this works if the Saints indeed went for a maximum restructure.
Note: Figures can vary depending upon the number of void years added
Lattimore’s 2021 salary is reduced from $10.244M to $990K
The remaining $9.254M then spread out over five years (2021 + four void years).
That means that in 2021, the Saints pay the $990K new base salary plus the prorated amount of roughly $1.85M.
That effectively reduces Lattimore’s cap hit from $10.244M to 2.84M, leaving roughly $7.4M in savings.
Saints get Marshon Lattimore to agree to same construct as Sheldon Rankins last year on 5th-year option, converting into minimum base salary & the rest as prorated bonus money— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) June 8, 2021
If a max restructure with 4 void years, would clear $7.4M
2021 cap hit - $2.84M
2022 dead cap - $7.4M https://t.co/fC6KCoqC1o
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