The Saints are clearing up some cap space. New Orleans is restructuring Drew Brees‘ contract to give them some added flexibility in free agency, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Pelissero writes that the procedural move will clear up $10.8MM in cap space. Pelissero notes that the Saints needed to free up some immediate cash as they attempt to re-sign Teddy Bridgewater and prepare to host tight end Jared Cook. Pelissero also notes that it’s not going to effect Brees’ compensation, as he’ll still be due $23MM cash in 2019.
Instead, New Orleans just appears to be deferring a cap hit to the future. In a follow-up tweet, Pelissero explains that Brees’ contract is set to void after this season, and that the Saints will be left with $21.3MM in dead money, whether Brees returns for the 2020 season or not. Before this restructure, it was going to be $10.5MM in dead money.
It’s a big hit to take next season, but the Saints have move to makes. Bridgewater is having second thoughts about re-signing with the Saints, and met with the Dolphins yesterday. He appears to be leveraging the Dolphins to get more money from the Saints, and it’s working if this restructure is any indication. If the Saints are serious about signing Cook he isn’t going to come cheaply, which also helps explain this move.
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