Throwing Money Away

Dead money to 59 players a drag on Saints’ ability to add talent

Even with yesterday’s win, it’s clear the Saints are still struggling this season. Why? The simple answer is the team wasn’t able to fill the roster with enough talent because they are throwing away money to 59 players who aren’t on the team anymore. That’s six more than a full active NFL roster.

This year the Saints have $31.83 million in dead money, according to, a website devoted to tracking NFL contract and salary cap information. That reduces their spending capability to $111.45 million, 78 percent of the NFL mandated $143.28 million. When you account for quarterback Drew Brees’ $23.8 million – 21 percent of the team’s already reduced cap – the Saints have $87.65 million to spend on the rest of the team.

The top 10 paid Saints earn more than half of the team’s cap allowance, a combined $58.58 million. That leaves just $52.87 million to spend on filling the roster. Unfortunately, many of these 10 have been hit with injuries this year that have reduced their effectiveness or taken them out of a game or more.

If there is any silver lining, it comes in a couple of years. The projected 2016 salary cap is $150 million. Right now, the Saints owe $14.8 million to 11 players. The biggest hit is Junior Galette, who is due $12.1 million. When the dead money is accounted for, the team’s expected salary allowance would be $135.2 million, 90 percent of the full allotment.

In an area of potential drama, Brees is due $30 million next year. His salary will make up 22 percent of the team’s cap, and reduce their ledger to $105.2 million available on the rest of the roster. The Saints and Brees already agreed to move some money around this year. Would both parties again restructure to a more team-friendly contract that would free some cash and allow him to retire in Black & Gold? Or, would the Saints be willing to trade him (They did it to Archie!) in order to get a player or several high draft picks for the surefire Hall of Famer? It will be interesting to see what happens with the team and its greatest player of all time.

The salary cap nightmare looks like it will end after next season. The Saints currently have $87.68 million in salary going toward the 2017 team with no projected dead money limiting their ability to succeed.



Saints On High

The top 10 paid Saints earn a combined $58.58 million, more than half of the team’s 2015 cap allowance. That leaves just $52.87 million to spend on filling the roster.


Rank   Player                         Cap Number

1          Drew Brees                  $23.8 million

2          Jahri Evans                  $7 million

3          Marques Colston         $6.5 million

4          Jairus Byrd                  $5.5 million

5          Keenan Lewis              $4.5 million

6          Cameron Jordan         $4.17 million

7          David Hawthorne        $4.01 million

8          Thomas Morstead       $3.4 million

9          Zach Strief                   $3.2 million

10        Max Unger                   $3 million

Total                                    $58.58 million





Scream Loud As Thunder

This year the Saints have $31.83 million in dead money going to 59 players no longer on the team. That reduces their spending capability to $111.45 million, 78 percent of the NFL mandated $143.28 million.


Player                                Cap Number

Jimmy Graham                   $9 million

Ben Grubbs                        $6 million

Junior Galette                     $5.45 million

Curtis Lofton                       $5 million

Brodrick Bunkley                $1.912 million

Pierre Thomas                    $830,000

Stanley Jean-Baptiste        $667,374

Akiem Hicks                        $418,137

Parys Haralson                   $350,000

Khairi Fortt                          $309,420

Erik Lorig                            $300,000

Champ Bailey                     $250,000

Nick Toon                           $140,727

Ronald Powell                    $140,156

Kenny Phillips                     $137,647

Joe Morgan                         $137,647

Kenny Stills                         $97,226

Kevin Brock                        $81,882

Tavon Rooks                      $73,074

Mike McGlynn                    $64,412

DuJuan Harris                    $62,700

Mike Brewster                    $61,412

Bryce Harris                       $60,000

Corey White                       $44,125

Tim Hightower                    $34,412

Seantavius Jones               $31,400

Toben Opurum                   $25,588

Sean Hickey                        $15,833

Joe Morgan                         $15,000

Connor Hamlett                  $13,200

Shayne Graham                  $10,000

Markus Pierce-Brewster     $7,000

Cameron Brate                   $6,600

Blake Annen                       $6,600

Sean Hickey                       $6,600

R.J. Harris                          $6,600

Matt Armstrong                 $5,000

Marcus Ball                        $4,000

Ty Nsekhe                          $3,750

Lawrence Virgil                  $3,334

George Uko                       $3,334

Nic Jacobs                         $3,334

Brandon Coleman              $3,334

Logan Kilgore                     $3,334

Timothy Flanders                $3,334

Chidera Uzo-Diribe            $3,334

Derrius Brooks                   $3,000

Ty Zimmerman                   $3,000

Pierre Warren                      $2,667

Je’Ron Hamm                     $2,667

Derek Dimke                       $2,500

Glenn Foster                       $2,334

Cyril Lemon                        $2,000

Ashaad Mabry                    $1,800

R.J. Harris                          $1,800

Harold Spears                    $1,800

Rod Sweeting                     $1,668

Kevin Reddick                    $1,668

Spencer Hadley                  $1,000

TOTAL                             $31,831,264





Categories: The Pennant Chase