The New Orleans Saints started the 2019 NFL season with an 0-2 record after losing to Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. The team has been inconsistent in their last few years, but always looks for redemption against division rival Atlanta Falcons.
The “new orleans saints over the cap” is a big concern for the New Orleans Saints. The team is currently over the salary cap, and they need to make some moves in order to be under it again.
METAIRIE, Louisiana — Under new coach Dennis Allen, the New Orleans Saints have made it obvious that they do not want to rebuild. So, despite some significant salary-cap limits, they’ll continue to be active in free agency.
They do, however, worry about obtaining the right players at the appropriate price. As a result, deciding how much to spend on a quarterback and two of ESPN’s top seven unrestricted free agents — left lineman Terron Armstead and safety Marcus Williams — will be a difficult task.
For the second year in a row, the Saints are unlikely to utilize the franchise tag on Williams, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Before Tuesday’s tag deadline, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Armstead. If they re-sign either player, it will almost certainly be for a multi-year deal, which will help them better manage their cap expenditures.
Here are some of New Orleans’ most significant financial decisions:
Is there enough room in the cap for all three?
Yes, technically. Whether you agree with the Saints’ technique of continuously reworking contracts to shift cap obligations to future years, they started the offseason with enough wiggle space to go from $75 million over the cap to more than $30 million under the limit without removing a single player.
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They may also apply the cap costs retroactively to any new contract they sign.
That’s why they won’t be dismantling the roster while guys like Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk, Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis, and Marshario Lattimore are still in their primes.
The Saints’ cap position, on the other hand, has “reduced your margin for error” over the last decade, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. So, despite their aggressive spending, they set limitations on what they feel each player is worth.
For example, despite being in an even worse financial predicament, they elected to re-sign Ramczyk and Lattimore to contracts costing roughly $20 million per year and slap the franchise tag on Williams. However, they decided to let defensive end Trey Hendrickson join with another team (a decision that worked out very well for the Cincinnati Bengals).
How much money will they spend on a quarterback?
It’s likely that the Saints may set their sights on a superstar quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson in the quarterback market, which would certainly restrict their expenditure elsewhere. However, no indication has been given that either quarterback would be available — or that New Orleans will be the top bidder.
As a result, it’s much more possible that the Saints will re-sign a free agent like Jameis Winston or Teddy Bridgewater at a lower cost. Winston should be the clear favorite after going 5-2 as a starter in New Orleans before hurting his ACL last season.
Whatever the case may be, this is the Saints’ top priority and the lone “must” on this list. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Loomis told reporters that they are treating the position “with a feeling of urgency, for sure.” Even if they move up from the 18th selection, he believes it will be difficult to find a starter quarterback in the draft.
Is Armstead a good investment?
This may be the most difficult question on the list. When healthy, the 6-foot-5, 304-pounder is as excellent as any offensive lineman in the league. In 2015 and 2018, Pro Football Focus rated him as the top offensive tackle in the league. Even at the conclusion of the 2020 season, when Kamara’s record six-touchdown effort on Christmas Day was virtually an Armstead highlight reel, he was still at his finest.
@T Armstead72 was the bouncer outside the club when Alvin Kamara entered the 6-TD club. pic.twitter.com/hhg3DbxUDM
December 26, 2020 — New Orleans Saints (@Saints)
A healthy Armstead may be the difference-maker that turns a Super Bowl contender into a champion (once again: see Bengals). Armstead’s price might rise to $20 million or more each year as a result of this potential upside.
Armstead, who will be 31 in July, has been plagued by health problems. Injuries to his elbow and knee forced him to miss nine games in 2021, and he underwent surgery to fix his right knee after the season. From 2016 through 2018, he missed a total of 21 games due to knee, hip, shoulder, and pectoral problems until his health improved in 2019 and ’20.
Armstead has shown interest in re-signing with the Saints. They have a strong backup option in veteran James Hurst if they are outbid, particularly because they have one of the best right tackles in the NFL in Ramczyk. However, the Saints must have more output from their guard positions than they did in 2021.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Williams?
Williams hasn’t yet reached Armstead’s level of accomplishment.
However, since he is younger, healthier, and less expensive, retaining him might be a better option. The issue is determining whether he is worth the pay he should expect, which is in the range of top-tier safety Jamal Adams ($17.645 million per year), Harrison Smith ($16.145 million per year), Justin Simmons ($15.25 million per year), and Budda Baker ($14.75 million per year).
Williams has yet to be named to the Pro Bowl, although he is largely regarded as one of the league’s best rookie safeties. In each of the last three years, Pro Football Focus has put him in the top seven. Since becoming an early starter as a second-round draft selection in 2017, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has made a noticeable impact on a New Orleans defense that is among the top six in the NFL in both yards and points allowed.
Allen, a former safety and defensive backs coach who just spent the last five years as Williams’ defensive coordinator, will undoubtedly have a voice in the issue.
If Williams is lost, the Saints still have enough depth at the position. Malcolm Jenkins (34) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (24) are both in the last year of their contracts, while experienced backup P.J. Williams (28) is also a free agent. If they let him go, they may look for a replacement.
Where else do the Saints need to spend their money?
I have discussed the Saints’ need for a receiver resurgence, but they might make it a draft priority if they end up spending a lot of money elsewhere. Linebacker Kwon Alexander, wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith, quarterback Trevor Siemian, and Williams are among the unrestricted free agents they might target.
The “saints wire” is a news source that covers the New Orleans Saints. The site was created by the team’s official website, and it offers up-to-date information on the team.
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