As a result of the new collective bargaining agreement that will likely be agreed to within the next week, the salary cap for NFL teams for the 2011 season will be $120 million. Due to contracts that have been given to veterans on the team, this number could make the New Orleans Saints release some veteran players and have to make some tough choices when putting together their final roster.
First and foremost, as of Sunday, the team is only $11.7 million under the cap. While that number normally wouldn’t be terrible, the team has 26 free agents that other teams will be vying for beginning next weekend. Players such as Jermon Bushrod, Roman Harper and Lance Moore will be sure to receive other interest from other teams and will take very competitive offers to stay in the Big Easy.
With these salary cap issues, it is almost certainly a given that Reggie Bush will be released if he does not restructure his contract from the $12 million he is owed to a salary around $3 million. It remains to be seen what Bush would be willing to accept to stay in New Orleans, but it seems likely that he would want a contract bigger than that, and would likely have suitors around the league that would be willing to pony up to get him on their team. Additionally, if he is released, it would save the Saints $12 million on this year’s cap.
Other players that could be on the cutting block due to large salaries could be Randall Gay, Devery Henderson, Alex Brown and Jason Kyle, who all have contracts that pay them more than their production has been in the past. It is also possible that there could be some surprises that are on the cutting block by the time training camp ends.
With such little money to work with and the free agency frenzy (literally) beginning in a few days, it will be interesting to see what the Saints do to resign their own players and sign other free agents to improve their roster for 2011.