METAIRIE, LA. – The New Orleans Saints limp into the offseason from all the injuries in 2021. This is the first time since 2016 the Who Dat will miss the playoffs. Now they turn their attention to getting healthy and filling the roster holes.
“I think it’s mostly on the offensive side of the ball because you can keep what you have defensively for the most part. Even if you do lose some players you can backfill some of those with what you have,” said John Hendrix Lead Writer/Reporter at Saints News Network for Sports Illustrated.
“I do think this year is different from last year. They should be able to re-sign these guys they want that they feel fits their long-term plan and their budget and not have to worry about cutting key players,” said Luke Johnson Saints Beat Writer for NOLA.com.
The NFL’s salary cap is expected to rise and hit 208 million this year, which is great for the Black and Gold. Because of COVID the cap went down to 182.5 Million in the 2021 season
“It allows them to be a little bit more creative with how they attacked the salary cap. The main thing you’re going to have is a lot of players have really high salary cap charges. The thing is, the way you can maneuver some of those if you don’t necessarily have to cut and trim you can always push money down the road which is kind of what the Saints have been doing. Some of these roster bonuses can turn into something different, like a signing bonus. Which just gives it to them upfront and allows them to have more of a cap hit. They’re going to have to make some decisions decisions though,” said Hendrix.
“This is where it matters to have smart people in your front office because you’ve got to understand what is a player like Terron Armstead not just mean on the field, but what does he mean in the locker room and how much is that worth and how much is he going to command on the open market,” said Johnson.
Last off-season New Orleans buried themselves in a 100 million dollar hole, but somehow head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickie Loomis managed to get themselves out of it and spend money.
This offseason the Saints are currently 60-70 million over their cap. However, there are many ways to maneuver it.
“A lot of it goes to Khai Harley in the front office too. I mean he’s the mathematician the numerologist, whatever you want to call him. They’ve been doing this for a long time so their relationship is really strong, so the fact is you can make things work. It can work to your favor and sometimes it doesn’t work to your favor,” said Hendrix.
“There’s no real rest time in the NFL outside of may be June, so lots of stuff to just keep your eye on the next couple months,” said Johnson.
More good news for NFL teams including the Saints, is the salary cap is supposed to increase even more in 2023.