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-$95 million ... Saint cap situation and what to do with Brees.


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Saints are currently $95,000,000 in the hole for 2021.

First, the Saints can cut a handful of non-essential, but important players to relieve a large chunk of that $95 million. All of these guys are going to be sorely missed, for one reason or another.

Saints cuts:
Kwon Alexander - $13.4m saved
Janoris Jenkins - $7m saved
Nick Easton - $6m saved
Malcolm Brown - $5m saved
Patrick Robinson - $2.6m saved
Josh Hill - $2.6m saved
Thomas Morstead - $2.5m saved

The loss of Kwon and Jenkins will hurt our defense, but we all knew 2021 was going to hurt us somewhere. Malcolm Brown has been a strong presence in the middle for us, but we have done well finding and developing talent on the defensive line, he is replaceable. Nick Easton was a solid reserve but can be replaced for a fraction of the price, same with Josh Hill and and Patrick Robinson. 

This brings the cap room the Saints need to clear to a measly $56,000,000

The Saints can restructure many core key players and push their cap implications into more cash rich seasons, especially for players expected to remain with us for the long haul like Thomas, Ony, Peat and likely Jordan.

Cam Jordan converts $10.825m base salary and $1.9m roster bonus, saving $9.618m in 2021
Michael Thomas converts $11.6m base salary, saving $8.857m in 2021
Terron Armstead converts $9.07m base salary and $1.5m roster bonus, saving $6.783m in 2021
Emmanuel Sanders converts $4.925m base salary and $2m roster bonus, saving $3.462m in 2021
David Onyemata converts $6.01m base salary and $500k roster bonus, saving $4.34m in 2021
Andrus Peat converts $8m base salary saving $6m in 2021
Demario Davis converts $1.625m base salary and $3.6m roster bonus, saving $3.918m in 2021
Malcolm Jenkins converts $5.125m base salary, saving $3.416m in 2021
Latavius Murray converts $1.857m base salary and $350k roster bonus, saving $1.037m in 2021

With these moves, the Saints are only $9,000,000 in the hole, but quickly heading into the 2021 free agency period. 

Ryan Ramczyk and Marshon Lattimore can both be extended, taking large portions of their combined $21.3m and pushing them into future years as well. For simplicity sake we'll say they both take contracts with small base salaries in 2021, saving us an additional $12m between the two extensions.

This would give the Saints $3,000,000 in cap space before free agency began, they could attempt to re-sign Marcus Williams or Trey Hendrickson if either was willing to work out a deal that lowered their hit for 2021. At this point they would also need to decide if they should cut Brees loose then and there to save $13.5m, or if they wanted to wait until June 1st to receive the rewards of his release and gain $25m after the free-agency period frenzy had ended.

 

Edited by Dome
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Assuming no FA's are signed and the saints just sit tight through FA and until June 1st their roster will look like this:

QB: Taysom Hill
RB: Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray
WR: Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Trequan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris
TE: Adam Trautman
OL: Armstead, Peat, McCoy, Ruiz, Ramczyk 

DE: Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Carl Granderson
DT: David Onyemata, Malcolm Roach, Shy Tuttle
LB: Demario Davis, Zach Baun, Kaden Ellis
CB: Marshon Lattimore, !!!!!!, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
S: Malcolm Jenkins

 

And they'll be sitting on $28m in fresh space if they decide to designate Brees a post June 1st cut, but cutting him before the FA period could give the Saints a real chance at retaining both Marcus Williams and Trey Hendrickson. What should the Saints do?

Edited by Dome
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Brees will be a post June 1 retiree... There is a loophole the Saints can use to drop his cap hit to the minimum (1.1 mil i think) then designate him a post June 1 retired player which has been the plan all along IMO.

 

After that most Saints fans will realize what the Saints front office has been knowing all along and thats they have to strip down the roster and reallocate thier money. Players that were signed to help make this run like Brown, Alexander, Jenkins, etc will be released in cap cutting moves as the team reallocates their money into thier younger core into moves like extending Lattimore and Ramzcky and resigning Williams and Hendrickson.

 

The front office understands their will be a cost to kicking the can down the road for as long as they have but thier goal this offseason will be to retain their young core talent while getting thier cap squared away and understanding that 2021 will be a evaluation year as the organization looks to move into the post Drew Brees era.

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This is like fantasy accounting. 

I hope we can keep Jackrabbit (at a lower dollar). With the emergence of CGJ, our corner/slot play is getting pretty fun (in between the frustrations). I really think the secondary play is what's helped our D ends so much.

As for the numbers... I'm out, LOL!

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2 hours ago, SWATcha said:

Random thought. 

Any chance the Saints ship Michael Thomas out?

I think it’s quite possible. They haven’t been afraid to move on from big names if the compensation is right.

That said, our QB next year would really love a guy like Thomas.

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2 hours ago, SWATcha said:

Random thought. 

Any chance the Saints ship Michael Thomas out?

It would be rough with his contract... Also Thomas isnt afraid to express his frustrations and mark my words many of these high priced weapons will be complaining soon. Despite his lack of arm strength, Brees was still deadly accurate and threw catchable balls in stride. These guys like Thomas and Kamara will grow frustrated with Hill, especially Kamara.

 

I think Winston is the guy... If he is, Thomas will be his go to and he'll remain happy and Kamara will continue his assult on the Saints record books as the do it all dual threat.

 

If Hill is the guy... Wont be long before both Thomas and Kamara are wanting out.

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Jags fan here

Obviously there is a connection between Urban Meyer and Michael Thomas going back to their days at Ohio State. 
 

Hypothetically, what kind of compensation would you look for in return to trade MT?

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6 minutes ago, KhanYouDigIt said:

Jags fan here

Obviously there is a connection between Urban Meyer and Michael Thomas going back to their days at Ohio State. 
 

Hypothetically, what kind of compensation would you look for in return to trade MT?

First his contract is almost untradeable right now. Second even if it was, Loomis is a great shrewd GM not an idiot like Bill O'Brian so compennsation would be tons more than the Texans got for Hopkins.

 

Unless Thomas wines and moans I seriously doubt hes going anywhere.

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14 minutes ago, KhanYouDigIt said:

Jags fan here

Obviously there is a connection between Urban Meyer and Michael Thomas going back to their days at Ohio State. 
 

Hypothetically, what kind of compensation would you look for in return to trade MT?

Jags were the first team I thought of when I posted that question, with the Ravens being a close 2nd.

Like Worm mentioned though, his contract is almost untradeable. Hypothetically though, you're looking at a 1st minimum, and probably a comp pick somewhere, maybe a 3rd? 

Stranger things have happened though, and after watching him yesterday, I just have this nagging feeling the Saints are seriously contemplating moving him.

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If they move Thomas then its a complete rebuild not a reboot... I dont think they are there yet.

 

I mean no need maintaining many aspects of the roster after moving Thomas. That move would set the organization in an entirely different path.

 

Outsiders look at our cap situation and think were already in a tear down mode but Saints fans know that the way Loomis structures deals we can easily go from 95 mil over the cap to 25 mil in cap space overnight while keeping all of our core together.

 

Payton isn't sticking around for a tear down... Payton expects to compete. Drews retiring its not the end of the world, Payton will be motivated to prove he can win without Drew. Hes not letting his best player walk out the door.

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14 minutes ago, SWATcha said:

Jags were the first team I thought of when I posted that question, with the Ravens being a close 2nd.

Like Worm mentioned though, his contract is almost untradeable. Hypothetically though, you're looking at a 1st minimum, and probably a comp pick somewhere, maybe a 3rd? 

Stranger things have happened though, and after watching him yesterday, I just have this nagging feeling the Saints are seriously contemplating moving him.

We have the picks/cap space to make a deal happen.

I was just connecting the dots with Urban/MT. I know Urban loves him. And the Saints cap situation. 
 

Thanks for the responses.

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I think we will be in more of a quick revamp than a full rebuild. If Winston or a drafted QB can be even just a game manager, we should be a solid team next year. I don't think the front office views this as a tear down and start over situation either.

We will have to "trim the fat" with several guys that aren't crucial players and maybe even lose someone like a Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams, or Trey Hendrickson as well, but I don't think we move on from Thomas unless he creates drama in the locker room. We still have a young core that gives us a chance to be a contender again if we can find some decent QB play in the next few seasons.

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1 hour ago, tyler735 said:

I think we will be in more of a quick revamp than a full rebuild. If Winston or a drafted QB can be even just a game manager, we should be a solid team next year. I don't think the front office views this as a tear down and start over situation either.

We will have to "trim the fat" with several guys that aren't crucial players and maybe even lose someone like a Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Williams, or Trey Hendrickson as well, but I don't think we move on from Thomas unless he creates drama in the locker room. We still have a young core that gives us a chance to be a contender again if we can find some decent QB play in the next few seasons.

Im connvinced Lattimore, Ramczyk, Williams and Hendrickson are our young core that must be retained and if that means dumping some high priced veterans or former 1st round picks this offseason then so be it.

 

I think we roll into 2021 with Winston as the starter and Hill in his usual role. Depending on how the season pans out will determine if the Saints have their quarterback or if the 2022 NFL draft becomes extremly interesting.

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