The Saints officially parted ways with three veterans today when the team announced that they were releasing DE Will Smith, CB Jabari Greer, and S Roman Harper. The moves will save the Saints $16.905 million in cap room for 2014, bringing them from $13.5 million over the cap to $3.35 million under the cap.
Smith was scheduled to earn $11.55 million in 2014 and was one of the most likely cuts in the entire NFL. Smith had his contract restructured last year to make him more affordable against the 2013 salary cap, but he never played for the team after suffering an injury. He will carry a cap charge of $2,352,451 against the Saints cap in 2014.
Harper was also restructured last season in a questionable move when it was probably easier to just release him rather than pushing more money off into 2014. Harper was scheduled to make $3.15 million and count for $5.87 million in cap charges. Due to the restructure his dead money in 2014 will be $3.69 million.
Greer was set to earn $4.5 million in cash and would have counted $5.825 million against the cap. The Saints will now carry a $2.65 million cap charge assuming he is not designated a June 1 cut, which would be unlikely given the Saints cap situation. The June 1 can also apply to Harper.
The Saints are already carrying $10.45 million in dead money on their roster following these releases. That is 4th highest in the NFL. The team still has $114 million in cap commitments in 2015 with just 36 players currently under contract, one of the four worst situations in the NFL. So expect more work to be done by the Saints in the next few weeks as they break down some of their roster to move forward.
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.