Saints Find Financial Creativity After Restructuring Brees’ Contract

Adam Forsythe / March 14, 2019

With the New Orleans Saints interested in signing some of the top remaining free agents like tight end Jared Cook, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, as well as their own former backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, they knew they would need some financial breathing room. To give themselves that extra space, they began working with current star quarterback Drew Brees in an attempt to restructure his current contract. On Thursday morning, the two sides reached an agreement.

The restructuring shaves $10.8 million off of his salary cap number for this season. Brees will still receive $23 million in cash for the 2019 season, but the restructure converted some of his salary money into a bonus which can be allocated over the length of the deal. Despite Brees’ current contract lasting through only next season, this new deal adds voidable years in 2020 and 2021 in order to spread out the cap hit. When Brees’ current deal voids after this season, his remaining cap charges will cost the Saints $21.3 million in dead cap space in 2020 unless the team tries to push that into the future once more in an attempt to re-sign Brees who will be 41 years old at that time.

This restructuring reduces Brees’ league-high cap hit from $33.5 million to $22.7 million, providing the Saints with $10.8 million to spend on free agents. The Saints desperately needed to make this move so they could have the money to go after free agents to fill the missing holes on the team at positions like tight end and defensive tackle.

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