The New Orleans Saints are reportedly negotiating with guard Jahri Evans to re-structure his contract to a more team-friendly cap figure.
The Times-Picayune reports that the New Orleans Saints are working to avoid having to release their All-Pro guard Jahri Evans as a salary cap casualty. Evans would carry a cap hit of $11 million if something isn’t done, which would be untenable for a team that projects to sit more than $2o million over the salary cap ceiling.
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Evans made his sixth straight Pro Bowl in 2014, which may have been more of a vote based on reputation this year around, but still remains indicative of his historic dominance, which has anchored the Saints’ offensive line as the unit consistently ranks atop the league in yards and points per game on an annual basis.
The Saints signed Jahri Evans to a seven-year $56.7 million deal in 2010, which has largely stood the test of time, bringing great value to the team every year. But now, the Saints sport the worst salary cap situation in the league and they have over $20 million in cap space dedicated to guards Evans and Ben Grubbs combined.
It appears the team has its choice between Evans and Grubbs and they’re trying like heck to choose Evans, who brings a more established history than Grubbs, who signed a five-year $36 million deal in 2012. Grubbs may also be a candidate for a restructure, but adding years to the deals of both guards in an effort to ameliorate cap hits in the short-term could burn the Saints years from now when bigger cap figures bring them even deeper in cap trouble.
The Times-Picayune also notes that receiver Marques Colston could be a target for a restructuring of his deal or an outright release. Colston will count for $9.7 million against the team’s 2015 salary cap, which is a pretty penny for a guy who tallied 59 catches for 902 yards and five touchdowns in 2014.
The team would save $4 million in cap space in 2015 by releasing Colston. They would save $6 million by releasing Jahri Evans and $3.6 million through a release of Ben Grubbs.
The New Orleans Saints have a lot of work to do and it appears they’re wasting no time. Whether they’ll opt to restructure or release the players is yet to be seen, but expect the Saints to be busy for much of the offseason as they struggle to escape salary cap hell.
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