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How Saints can get their top 3 free agents resigned:


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MAKING IT WORK:

 

Brees retires… 24 million

 

CUT

Janoris Jenkins… 7 million

Malcolm Brown… 5 million

Nick Easton… 5.9 million

Kown Alexander… 12.5 million

Thomas Moorestead… 2.5 million

Latavious Murray… 2.5 million

Patrick Robinson… 2.6 million

 

 

PLAYERS WHO SAINTS SHOULD EITHER EXTEND OR TRADE

Terron Armstead… Saints could save 6.6 million by trading Armstead whos in his 30s now and is constantly battling injury issues. Despite that the Saints could likely get a decent draft haul upwards of a 2nd and 4th round pick for his services. The Saints can extend Ryan Ramczyk and move him over to the left side and target a right tackle in the draft. Or if the Saints opt to extend Armstead that move alone saves 6.7 million but with no draft assets.

 

Tyson Hill… He isn’t your franchise quarterback so there is ZERO excuse for him to be making 16 million against your cap but are willing to let Hendrickson or Williams walk, that makes ZERO sense. So either Hill accepts his role as the backup / utility player and agrees to a extension paying him as such or he’s going on the trading block and Sean Payton recently said if they ever put him on the block, the Saints would have 31 suiters, well let’s put that to the test!

 

If Hill was to extend a few years he could open up around upwards of 10 million in 2021 cap space which is more than enough to retain 1 of our 2 top defensive free agents. If he’s unwilling… we trade him for draft assets while opening up  12.1 million in cap space which could be enough to get both our top defensive free agents extended long-term.

 

 

PLAYERS TO TRADE OR RELEASE

Emanuel Sanders… Sorry but while Sanders is a good player, 2021 is about setting our team up long-term not short-term. Sanders is going to be 34 years old next year and the Saints could save 4 million by releasing him or if they find a contender willing to trade us a late rounder for his services we could save 6 million, even more money to go towards retaining our top 3 free agents in Winston, Hendrickson and Williams.

 

 

PLAYERS TO PUT ON THE TRADE BLOCK AND SEE WHAT OFFERS COME

Marcus Davenport… Dress it up how ever you want it but Davenport has been a disappointment and should be put on the block to see if we could recoup a mid-round pick for his services before he potentially walks next offseason for nothing like Sheldon Rankins will do this year. There comes a point where you have to reward productive players and cut bait with disappointing ones. Flipping Davenport this offseason gives the Saints around 2.5 million extra in cap space plus an additional possible mid-round draft pick as well as giving Carl Granderson more playing time who proved to be a better pass rusher than Davenport in 2020 as well as less injury prone.

 

 

RESTRUCTURE

Cameron Jordan… 9.6 million

Michael Thomas… 8.8 million

Andrus Peat… 6 million

Demario Davis… 4 million

David Onyemata… 4.3 million

 

 

EXTEND

Ryan Ramczyk… In 2019 the Eagles agreed to a contract extension with their prize right tackle Lane Johnson paying him 18 million per year. That I feel will be the frame work of Ramczyks next deal. 20 million per year isn’t out of the realm of possibility so now do you see why Armstead might need to be shipped out? Paying Ram 20 per demands a switch to left tackle in order to justify that deal and if you are forced to choose between Armstead and Ramczyk you go with the younger less injury prone player.

 

A Ramczyk extension could look similar to Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s 5 year 98.5 million extension signed in 2020 paying Stanley just under 20 million per with a year 1 cap hit of over 12 million. Granted Stanley’s deal was not a backloaded contract and Ramczyks deal would have to be. The only other option would be to allow Ramczyk to remain on his current deal at a cap hit of over 11 million in 2021 and possibly place the franchise tag on him in 2022 if a deal cannot be striked then. Either way, Ramczyks deal is going to be expensive… really expensive and we just might not have room for Armstead under the cap because of it but we could finesse it for another season if need be.

 

 

Marshon Lattimore… Believe it or not but Lattimore’s extension will be easier than that of Ramczyks because Lattimore is in somewhat of a down year and the Saints can take advantage and get Lattimore signed long-term offering security. Also as I pointed out in another topic, Lattimore’s top comp is fellow 2017 draft pick Tre'Davious White whom Buffalo extended this year at 4 years 69 million at 17.2 per year. The Saints could likely get Lattimore extended at around the same cost of around 17.5 per year on par with Cam Jordan at a 2021 cap hit of around 6 million on a backloaded deal saving the Saints around 5 million against the cap in 2021.

 

While these deals may seem high it’s the price of good players at these positions in the NFL and Ramczyk and Lattimore is part of your young core moving forward.

 

 

CAP SAVINGS

So far my calculations is at around 102 million in savings and that’s without extending or restructuring Ryan Ramczyk deal… This creates around 26.5 million in cap space with a projected salary cap figure of 180 million. A Ramczyk extension could open up an additional 4-6 million in cap space. By my figures new deals for Hendrickson and Williams would cost around 12-12.5 million against the cap in 2021 to get them both extended long-term. Leaving around 14 million in cap space left over (without a Ramczyk deal). Attacking a deal for Jameis Winston I could see a number around something similar to that of what Taysom Hill signed last off-season which was a 2 year deal backloaded and cap friendly in 2021 for the Saints. Technically Winston hasn’t won the starting job yet despite all the talk and the team can still opt to go with Hill or a Rookie if Winston becomes to expensive. A 2 year backloaded deal of around 25 million in total and a 2021 cap hit of 5 million seems ideal for both parties if in fact Winston isn’t chasing money and truly wants his opportunity to start in New Orleans. 9 million in cap space left…

 

 

OUTCOME

Saints get most of their young core under contract long-term  with enough left over to sign draft picks and possibly a bargin bin free agent or two. The Saints might have to fill out the bottom of their roster with undrafted rookie free agents for a year or two until much of the dead money suffered through the Brees years comes off the books but you have to expect some sort of decline roster wise after kicking the can down the road for so long.

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6 hours ago, JMG5 said:

That's a lot of money to keep our free agents. Oof

It is but here's the thing... if you look at the numbers, historically its proven its always better to keep your own than to sign outside free agents. With Brees as the exception to the rule their is more Jarius Birds out there. Granted Hendrickson might not be a 16 million per year player but he plays like one in our system. Williams has a gaff here and there but his numbers are comparable to Eddie Jackson who got the same deal and Williams is just 23 years old, 4 years younger than Jackson and once again he's proven in our system. Winston is truly the one gamble.

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