The Saints have restructured Junior Galette‘s contract, converting his $12.5MM roster bonus into a signing bonus worth the same amount, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The move spreads the bonus over five years, at a rate of $2.5MM per season, meaning the team cleared $10MM in cap room for 2015, which should be enough to get under the cap in advance of tomorrow’s deadline.
The move all but guarantees that Galette will remain on the Saints’ roster for at least the 2015 season, which wasn’t necessarily a sure thing. The pass rusher ran into some legal troubles in recent months, and recent reports have suggested head coach Sean Payton and the Saints wouldn’t have been opposed to moving on from Galette if they could find a taker.
Galette’s off-field issues and his huge $12.5MM roster bonus, which had been due this Thursday, likely discouraged any potential suitors from seriously pursuing a deal, assuming the Saints even explored a trade themselves.
Having already cut Curtis Lofton and restructured Galette’s contract today, the Saints will likely have more cap-clearing moves on the way if they want to have a shot at adding any players in free agency this week. Marques Colston, Ben Grubbs, Jahri Evans, and David Hawthorne are among the Saints whose contracts may be addressed in some form, whether it be via restructure, pay cut, or an outright release.