On the surface, the Saints reluctantly enter their offseason without many avenues to improve their roster. They traded away their 2019 first-, third- and fourth-round picks and stand to hold less than $20MM in cap space. However, they may be open to another extension that knocks down Drew Brees‘ NFL-high $33.5MM cap figure. Another place the team could look to for potential cap savings is Andrus Peat‘s contract. The 2015 first-round pick has a $9.625MM fifth-year option salary, but with those deals guaranteed for injury only, The Athletic’s Larry Holder writes (subscription required) the guard is not a lock to return to New Orleans in 2019. Four of the Saints’ top six cap charges stand to go to offensive linemen, and Peat graded out as Pro Football Focus’ worst full-time guard this season. Peat broke his hand in December, but having played in both New Orleans’ playoff games, passing the fifth-year option physical before the new league year seems like a decent bet.
As its Super Bowl LIII representative prepares to trek to Atlanta, here is the latest from the NFC:
- With Bobby Massie re-signing to stay in Chicago long-term, the Bears knocked out a key piece of their offseason task list. They now have three of their starting offensive linemen signed to veteran contracts. Massie will become one of the highest-paid right tackles in the game, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeting the 29-year-old blocker will earn more than $8MM annually. While guarantees and base salaries are not yet known, Massie will become the fifth right tackle to make $8MM-plus per year.
- Shifting back to the Saints, they will lose a staffer to the college ranks. Offensive assistant Joe Brady will become LSU’s passing game coordinator, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. Brady spent two years with the Saints.
- The Eagles signed Timmy Jernigan to a four-year, $48MM extension late in the 2017 season. But the reigning Super Bowl champs may be experiencing buyer’s remorse. Jernigan ($13MM cap hit in 2019) will not be back in Philly without a restructure, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles would have to eat a $6MM dead-money charge by releasing the defensive tackle but would gain $7MM in cap savings. This marks the NFL’s worst cap situation, with the Eagles more than $14MM over the projected salary ceiling.