After releasing Pierre Thomas and restructuring Jairus Byrd‘s deal earlier this week, the Saints continued to pare down their 2015 cap number today, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the team restructured the contract for Marques Colston. The veteran wideout had been viewed as a possible candidate to be cut, but he’ll be sticking around New Orleans on a reworked deal instead.
Colston, who has two years left on his deal with the Saints, had been set to earn a base salary of $6.9MM in 2015, with a cap hit of $9.7MM. A simple restructure of the contract would have helped New Orleans create immediate space, though it also would have pushed more dead money onto his 2016 cap hit. We’ll have to wait for the full details of the move to find out whether Colston accepted a pay reduction, or if the two sides merely converted some base salary into a signing bonus.
As our Zach Links wrote in his preview of New Orleans’ offseason, Drew Brees and the Saints love to spread the ball around, but Colston still sits atop the depth chart at wide receiver after all these years. Still, Colston – a Saint since 2006 – caught just 59 balls for 902 yards in 2014, the lowest totals of his career if you throw out an injury-plagued 2008 campaign. With the Saints needing to get under the cap, carrying the 31-year-old at a cost of $9.7MM wasn’t realistic.
The Saints figure to address a few more contract situations before Tuesday, in some form or other — Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Junior Galette, and Curtis Lofton are among the candidates to be traded, cut, or restructured.