Starting the offseason in the red by more than $ 70 million would concern most teams. But not the New Orleans Saints. After clearing more than $ 100 million in salary cap commitments for the second year in a row, the Saints have found key weapons on both sides of the ball and landed big additions in their 2022 draft class. Now, after signing all of those deals, they still sit under the cap with $ 9.6 million left to spend – Over the Cap’s records have New Orleans at $ 12.6 million in cap space, but that doesn’t reflect the small charge for Jarvis Landry.
The Saints’ newest free agent pickups in All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu ($ 3.4 million) and Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry ($ 3 million) plus their entire 2022 draft class ($ 8.3 million in cap hits for receiver Chris Olave, left tackle Trevor Penning, cornerback Alontae Taylor, linebacker D’Marco Jackson, and defensive lineman Jordan Jackson) combine for just over $ 14.7 million, collectively.
New Orleans has done a remarkable job structuring team-friendly deals for their impact free agent signings and benefited from their patient approach on the open market. Also, neither Mathieu nor Landry will count against the Saints for the 2023 compensatory picks formula.
Now, with over $ 12 million remaining, the Saints could look for another LSU reunion by bringing back free agent linebacker Kwon Alexander. This would be a move that helps to shore up depth on the defense’s second level. But they could also choose to roll the majority of these funds over as insurance for any injured reserve additions throughout the season and to carry into 2023 as a cap management measure ahead of the next offseason. Returning Alexander would continue the momentum of what’s turned into a very exciting offseason, but the less exciting decision to roll money into next year is a pragmatic and wise one.