After releasing running back Pierre Thomas yesterday, the Saints continue to inch toward getting under the 2015 salary cap, restructuring the contract for safety Jairus Byrd. Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that the club has converted Byrd’s $6MM roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating $4.8MM in cap savings for ’15.
Before the restructure, Byrd had been set to count for $10.3MM on New Orleans’ books for 2015 — that figure included his $6MM roster bonus, his $2MM base salary, $2.2MM in prorated signing bonus money, and a $100K workout bonus. By converting the roster bonus into a new signing bonus, the Saints can spread the cap hit over the next five years, making it count for just $1.2MM per year. So Byrd’s deal now includes that $2MM base salary and $100K workout bonus for 2015, along with $3.4MM in total prorated bonus money, for a total cap number of $5.5MM.
Although restructuring Byrd’s contract is a start, the Saints still have a ways to go before they’re under the cap, and will have until Tuesday to make all their moves. Contracts for players like Junior Galette, Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Ben Grubbs, and Curtis Lofton are among the others that figure to be addressed in some form or other.
On the second year of his six-year, $54MM deal with the Saints, Byrd will be looking to have a greater impact than he did in his first season with the team — the former Bill appeared in just four games for New Orleans in 2014 before being placed on injured reserve with a torn meniscus.