The Saints didn’t have too many ways to create more cap space this year, but they found a way to get a little creative by reworking the contract of free agent to be Sehldon Rankins.
The #Saints tweaked DT Sheldon Rankins’ contract, adding two voidable years and clearing $4 million in 2020 salary cap space. He still is due about $7.7M this season and can be a free agent in March.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 12, 2020
In order to make this work the Saints added two voidable contract years to the existing contract for Rankins and prorated $6 million of his $7.69 million salary. The move opens up $4 million in cap room for the cap starved Saints. Rankins was in the fifth year of his rookie contract and will still be a free agent after the season.
I would imagine that the Saints added large dummy year salaries in the void years to maintain a window for a contract extension without falling into any CBA related issues that would make an early extension challenging. If not extended, Rankins will count $4 million on the cap next season, a year in which the Saints project to be around $75 million over the cap.
Unlike the Lawrence restructure yesterday this has nothing to do with cap room in 2021. The Saints were tight against the 2020 cap with about $2 million in cap space so this does give them breathing room. It probably also opens up the cap room needed to give Alvin Kamara a signing bonus in the $12 to $15 million range and still be ok with the cap this year. If Kamara is to be extended expect it to come down today or early next week as teams usually cut off negotiations after that point.
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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.