The New Orleans Saints announced today they have restructured the contracts of four players. Marques Coslton, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, and David Hawthorne all agreed to restructure their contracts saving the Saints about $10 million this season in terms of cap space. The Saints had also restructured Curtis Lofton’s contract which saved them some money for next season as well. However, the Saints are still about $5 million over the salary cap right now and some more moves and restructuring are sure to come.
With the Saints still over the salary cap and working hard to get under it, one player that could and probably should restructure his contract is starting quarterback, Drew Brees. Brees is the highest paid player on the Saints, and in the NFL for that matter. For the upcoming season Brees is set to make a whopping $17.4 million. With the team desperate to get under the salary cap it would only make sense for Brees to restructure.
When asked about the possibility of restructuring his contract Brees had this to say,
“I am always willing to consider anything that will help the team or the cap situation.”
Brees is definitely a team player and I could see him being more than willing to restructure his contract for the good of the team. However, restructuring Brees’ contract would still present some problems.
In the short term restructuring Brees’ contract would be great for the team because it could save the team a lot of money this season. On the other hand, restructuring Brees’ contract could hurt the Saints in the long term because of how his salary is distributed in the later years of his contract.
If Brees took a pay cut this season that means his salary would increase over the remaining years of his contract. The Saints always seem to be in a salary cap crunch and restructuring Brees’ contract now would only make matters worse down the road. Especially when you consider that Brees is set to make more than $25 million per year in the final two years of his contract.
The Saints are better off leaving Brees’ contract alone for this season and find other ways to get under the salary cap. Things will not get easier for the Saints’ salary cap situation in the coming seasons. Tight end Jimmy Graham is in the last year of his rookie contract and it is well known that he is expecting a big pay day. So restructuring Brees’ contract now is a quick fix but not a solution for the Saints.