The Saints are releasing cornerback Janoris Jenkins, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Jackrabbit was due to earn $11.2MM with a cap hit of $14.2MM. Instead, the Saints will cut him to save about $7MM on the books for 2021.
The Saints extended Jenkins last year, smoothing out his cap hit with a two-year, $16.75MM add-on. The new deal pushed most of Jenkins’ guaranteed cash into 2020 while effectively turning 2021 and 2022 into option years. The 32-year-old (33 in October) was claimed off waivers by the Saints in December 2019. The former Giants standout was still productive in New Orleans, but the Saints are being forced to shed veterans as the cap drops.
Starting opposite of Marshon Lattimore, Pro Football Focus graded Jenkins as the 42nd best cornerback in the NFL out of 121 qualified players last year. Lattimore — younger and cheaper than Jenkins — could be kept for the long haul if the Saints can hammer out an extension. Lattimore is currently attached to a $10.2MM fifth-year option salary. After that, the 2017 first-rounder will be extension eligible.
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