In the latest episode of the continuing comedy that is known as the Saints salary cap, the Saints have reworked the contract of quarterback Drew Brees according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The move defers $2.6 million in salary cap charges to 2016. The reason for the move is because New Orleans was near the salary cap limit this season and had more or less run out of space to make any moves to cover replacements for injured players. The move leaves Brees with a $30 million cap hit in 2016 and a charge of $10 million if released or traded.
The Saints already have the worst cap situation in the NFL next season and a roster that needs a major overhaul. Ive already written about Brees’ future in New Orleans and this doesn’t change any of that. The franchise tag was never an option for Brees due to his already bloated cap figure and his status as a multi tagged player so this doesnt really impact that.
If they treat this added $2.6 million truly as an emergency fund and carry most of it over, the impact of this restructure really is not much, but it just illustrates how mangaled the books have become for the Saints. Doing this with Brees, who had only one year remaining, probably made more sense than with a lesser player who they may want to cut sooner rather than later as they likely regret the decisions made early this year to restructure the contract of players like Jairus Byrd.
Seeing how the Saints are 0-3 and so pressed against the cap it should bring up more questions as to why the Saints decided to go out and spend in free agency at all this season on players like Mark Ingram, CJ Spiller, Dannell Ellerbe, and Brandon Browner when they should have just stood pat for the season to fix their books.
Brees’ 2016 salary will become fully guaranteed in February so the team will need to make a quick decision after the season as to whether or not that can trade him in the offseason or can work out a reasonable contract extension despite the massive cap charge looming next year.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.