Saints Restructure C Erik McCoy’s Contract

As has become tradition in recent years, the Saints have a number of moves to make in the build-up to free agency to become cap compliant. The team took another step in that direction Thursday.

New Orleans converted the base salary and roster bonus of center Erik McCoy into a signing bonus, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The move frees up $7.18MM in cap space for 2024, but it will add to his cap hits for future years on his through-2027 contract. As’s Mike Triplett adds, the Saints can manufacture roughly $30MM more in immediate breathing space by restructuring their other veterans. Colleague Nick Underhill notes a void year has been added to the deal.

McCoy inked a $60MM extension in September 2022 to ensure he would avoid hitting the market at the expiration of his rookie contract. That deal kept one of New Orleans’ key offensive contributors on the books for the long term, but it added to the list of expensive commitments the team has made amidst its annual salary cap challenges. The former second-rounder already had his deal adjusted last winter.

McCoy played a full campaign in 2023, the first time he did so since 2020. The 26-year-old saw a marked improvement in terms of PFF evaluation, particularly in the run blocking department. He earned a Pro Bowl nod for the first time in his career, proving his value on a O-line which is in need of upgrades at other positions. The center spot is not a question mark for several more years, though, especially given the term remaining on McCoy’s pact.

New Orleans started the day more than $80MM over the cap, so a number of other moves will be needed before the new league year begins next month. The team has already re-worked the contracts of Marshon Lattimore and Jameis Winston, and several other similar decisions will no doubt be made. General manager Mickey Loomis has made it clear a similar approach to those of past years will be followed in 2024; as such, New Orleans will be on track to keep much of its corps intact by racking up future cap commitments.

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