It was reported after the contract restructures by Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith just prior to the offseason starting that the Saints were somewhere around $8.5 million under the salary cap. Enough room to add some talent but likely not make a massive splash in free agency. Since then, the Saints have signed Justin Drescher, Keenan Lewis, Ramon Humber, Ben Watson, Will Herring and Courtney Roby. Many of these contracts are undisclosed, but it's safe to assume each of the four returning Saints players had salaries around or less than $1 million. I'm going to say they count $3 million against the cap collectively. Ben Watson signed a 3 years $3.15 million deal with 950k going against cap in year one, while Keenan Lewis will count $2.25 against the cap in year one. That means the Saints have spent roughly $6.2 million against the cap up to this point for 2013 and by my math that means that have about $2.3 million worth of cap space left for 2013. That should be enough to, at the very least, offer both Nnamdi Asomugha and Victor Butler low ball contracts, which we can already safely assume they've done. Since both players left without signatures, they are obviously weighing their options and not thrilled by the money the Saints were able to propose.
Admittedly my math is not exact and I'm not going to pretend to fully comprehend all the intricacies of the cap, so feel free to correct me where something may not be adding up. At some point the Saints are going to get close enough to that cap ceiling again that they may have to do something with Roman Harper's contract, though. Remember they'll still need to fill out the roster and sign their rookies. Maybe don't rule out Drew Brees getting approached by the same thing? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, but the point is the breathing room they gained from Smith and Vilma was a short lived relief.
When factoring in the Drescher/Humber/Roby/Herring money you need to take into account the fact that only the top 51 salaries count against the cap, so you need to subtract whatever the 48-51 most expensive players were costing (if we very conservatively assume those four are for league minimum 1 year vets, that adds up to about 1.8 mill) from whatever those four resignings' total cap hits are gonna be this year. I could be wrong, but it looks like you didn't factor this in. If not, that would mean we have about $4.1 mil left.
@KyleHerbert great point Kyle, I forgot about that wrinkle. Hard to say if those four are in the top 51 or not. Impossible, actually, since they don't release the terms. $4 million in space sounds a lot better though!
@KyleHerbert interesting, didnt know that. However, I think the Saints do not have 51 players on roster right now...
I think the Saints wasted money on Smith and Vilma.
Smith hasn't been a factor since Charles 'Jelly Roll' Grant was cut; unless he signed a performance-based contract, he should have been released.
Vilma is coming back from injury; his best days are behind him. Didn't he struggle in a 3-4 defense when he was with the Jets?
@SaintsWillWIn all good points. I don't feel right about letting them go without replacements, though.
jelly roll - ha! I liked to call him "Chuckwagon" when he became Fat Charles Grant (after he got stabbed in the neck by a pregnant woman in a bar fight) because you know he never missed a chow bell!!
I was told there would be no math.
Tight in the cap, but maybe as things settle down a bit and guys stay out on the market, cheaper deals can be found later in the game, especially at experienced OT.
I wonder... after the draft, you can be above the cap right? I mean how can you ever have 40 extra rookies and free agents on the roster AND be under the cap? Would be a waste to cut them all and THEN have capspace.
I think Harper is going to have to restructure. I mean if you can get a free agent for 2 or 3 million, why keep Harper who has really underperformed for the salary he is getting. So there is a real cap situation and a virtual cap situation (cut Harper if needed) and a possible cap situation (Harper resigning).
Btw if I were to be any guy in the NFL I would like Loomis his job. I would love to know all that shit!