Seemingly every year, the New Orleans Saints enter the NFL offseason with negative cap space, and have to frantically move money around in order to begin the new league year in compliance with salary cap rules. This year is no different as the Saints have already restructured the contracts of five players, and they still have more work to do.
On Friday, the Saints restructured the deal of safety Tyrann Mathieu, according to NFL Media. It appears the team converted a portion of Mathieu's base salary into a signing bonus and added a void year on the end of his deal, allowing the Saints to clear just shy of $4.7 million from their books for the 2023 campaign.
The move came after New Orleans had previously engaged in similar cap mechanics with the contracts of center Erik McCoy, right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, safety Marcus Maye and kicker Wil Lutz. That quintet of maneuvers cleared around $30 million in cap room ... but the Saints still have $30 million more to go to get under the cap by the beginning of the 2023 league year.
New Orleans has some options as it can restructure the contracts of players like Marshon Lattimore and Andrus Peat and designate Jameis Winston as a post-June 1 release, but even that trio of moves might still leave the team short of where it needs to get. Mickey Loomis and Co. will once again need to get creative before they can even approach participating in the offseason, but then again, that's what they need to go pretty much every year. They'll figure it out.