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Agent's Take: Here's how Saints can dig out of 2021 salary cap mess; potential cap casualties and restructures

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It won't be easy, but here's a path for New Orleans to create the cap space it desperately needs

By Joel Curry | CBS Sports

The Saints showed just how hard it is to beat a team three times in one season. After two easy wins during the regular season, the Saints were eliminated from the postseason by the Buccaneers on Sunday in a 30-20 divisional playoffs loss. The Saints will now turn attention to solving the NFL's most daunting salary cap situation for 2021. The NFC South champions have $284.1 million in 2021 cap commitments with 45 players under contract according to NFL Players Association data. $4.122 million of unused 2020 cap space has been carried over to the 2021 league year, which begins on March 17. Under offseason accounting rules, only the top 51 salaries (i.e.; cap numbers) matter.

The 2021 salary cap was conservatively projected to $210 million before the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL and NFLPA set a $175 million salary cap floor for 2021 with league revenues declining due to COVID-19. If revenues are better than expected, the 2021 salary cap could be higher but will likely remain below the current level of $198.2 million.

The Saints have been aggressive and creative in managing the salary cap in recent years by taking a credit card approach where current obligations become future ones. The bill is coming and it's due in March. ...

Full Story - CBS Sports

Sean Payton End-Of-Season Press Conference – Reflects On The Season And Future Of The New Orleans Saints

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Jake | Kpel

Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints had an end-of-season conference call with the media as the team closes the book on another season that concluded with a playoff loss. Coach Payton spoke on the future of the team, the quarterback position, and filling the coaching staff.

Right off the bat, Coach Payton acknowledged the unique circumstances that came along with this NFL season. COVID-19 protocols placed upon all teams in the league added a new challenge for everyone involved, and Payton was very happy with the way his team dealt with the adversity.

Coach Payton also looks forward to getting fans back in the Superdome, as being without the #WhoDatNation was a major blow to the team's home-game energy.

Payton also spoke to the recent circumstance with Coach Ryan Nielsen, as he had an opportunity to become the new LSU Tiger Defensive Coordinator. Instead, Nielsen will take the Assistant Head-Coaching role from Dan Cambell, who is the new head coach of the Detroit Lions.

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Saints report $4.1 million in unspent salary cap space for 2021 rollover

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

It’s not much, but it’s something. The New Orleans Saints have initially reported just over $4.1 million in unused salary cap space to roll over into the 2021 fiscal year, per ESPN’s Field Yates. That number will be vetted by the NFL and adjusted for a variety of minor transactions and cap credits before being factored into each team’s final tally, as is the case every year.

And the Saints will need every penny. Depending on which estimate you’re using, they’re well over the projected salary cap by as much as $100 million. The NFL and NFL Players Association negotiated an agreement that will keep the cap from dropping beneath $175 million in 2021 ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Latest Saints News

Fleur-de-Links, January 22: Sean Payton speaks on coaching moves, quarterback futures, and more

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
A look at potential quarterbacks the Saints could start in 2021, including in-house quarterbacks, quarterbacks currently playing for other teams, or draft picks.

Sean Payton speaks on multiple moves surrounding Saints coaching staff.

Dan Campbell speaks highly of Sean Payton following his signing as new head coach with Detroit Lions.

Sean Payton shares his specific positive feelings about Ryan Nielsen’s position with the Saints.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert listed Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Williams among the top 50 free agents heading into the 2021 offseason.

Sean Payton speaks on the...
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Blame game out in full force with Brees, Nielsen developments

  • News source: Ken Trahan
  • Replies: 0
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So is the view of negativity.

So Brittany Brees did what the New Orleans Saints will never do in revealing intimate details about her husband’s vast injuries which he endured and played with in what was likely his final season in the NFL.

Sean Payton would not address the specifics in his conference call with media Thursday but did praise the toughness of Brees for playing hurt and the stability and ability of Brees to answer the bell with regularity over a two decade career.

The reaction to the injury revelation has triggered one of several...
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Sean Payton “fired up” about Ryan Nielsen’s return

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
When the week began, it looked like Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen would be heading to LSU to become the school’s new defensive coordinator.

The Saints said Nielsen’s contract blocked the move, however, and Wednesday brought word that he will remain with the team. Nielsen signed a three-year extension and added the title of assistant head coach.

On Thursday, head coach Sean Payton discussed his excitement about that turn of events.

“We’re outstanding,” Payton said, via the team’s website. “We’re fantastic, fired up that he’s returning. Every once in a while in this business...
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Ex-Saints coach Dan Campbell says Lions will 'bite a kneecap' to be 'last ones standing'

  • News source: Staff report
  • Replies: 0
Dan Campbell has been the head coach of the Detroit Lions for one day, but he's already making waves in NFL circles for his introductory press conference.

The former New Orleans Saints tight ends coach spoke with media members for more than an hour on Thursday covering a wide variety of topics, the most eye-catching being how Campbell plans to have the Lions "take on the identity of" their city.

Campbell started his answer by referencing how Detroit has been down before, but found a way to overcome adversity. He then illustrated that principle in graphic detail, including references to...
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Sean Payton addressed Saints' potential future at QB: 'We have a really good room'

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
On the day his 2020 season came to an end, January 17, Sean Payton marked his 15th anniversary of being named the New Orleans Saints head coach. In a few months, quarterback Drew Brees will reach the same milestone for the day the organization announced his signing.

Their legacies have been tied together since then. Now, for the first time in his Saints tenure, Payton could soon be preparing for a season that does not include Brees as part of the plan. Speaking Thursday for the first time since the Saints’ season ended in last Sunday’s playoff loss, Payton spoke optimistically about where...
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'We're outstanding:' Saints' Sean Payton speaks on Ryan Nielsen situation, Dan Campbell, other assistants

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Right before Sean Payton's season wrap-up press conference on Thursday, New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen popped his head into Payton's office to go over a few things.

And it had been an eventful week for the former USC defensive tackle.

On Monday, LSU was finalizing a deal to bring on Nielsen as its new defensive coordinator — a move that would reunite Nielsen with Ed Orgeron, his college position coach.

On Tuesday morning, Orgeron said in a radio interview that the Saints and LSU were hammering out "some things to work out." What Orgeron meant by that was how...
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AP source: Dan Campbell, former Saints tight end coach, gets 6-year deal with Detroit Lions

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The Detroit Lions landed the coach they coveted from the start of their search by hiring Dan Campbell.

The Lions tweeted a photo of the former New Orleans Saints tight ends coach signing his deal Wednesday, one day after the team formally introducing Brad Holmes as their general manager. Campbell signed a six-year contract, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal were not released.

"With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the...
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Saints will be as prepared as we can for when Drew Brees retires

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
After Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he will take time to “think about a lot of things” when asked about a report that he would be retiring from the NFL.

Head coach Sean Payton said that Brees’ plans would be a topic for a different press conference, but it wasn’t the one he took part in on Thursday. Payton was asked about the team’s plans at quarterback and that they will “try to be as prepared as we can be when that time comes” to say farewell to Brees.

Payton also said that he feels good about the other quarterbacks on hand in New Orleans.

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NFL Free Agency 2021: Hendrickson and Williams among Kevin Seifert’s Top 50 Free Agents

  • News source: KSkiver35
  • Replies: 0
Kevin Seifert’s top 50 free agent list was released on ESPN+ (subsription required) on Tuesday, and while the list is headlined by the obvious choice in Dak Prescott, a few New Orleans Saints also made an appearance. At a seemingly impossible $100 million in the salary cap hole, it’s hard to think how the Saints keep anyone at this point, but Saints fans are accustomed to the cap being more of a guideline at this point.

With that being said, a few Saints have definitely played themselves into bigger contracts this year. Seifert acknowledged them on his list.

Hendrickson certainly had a...
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New Orleans Saints rookie roundup: Divisional Round

  • News source: Anthony Mocklin
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final Divisional Round matchup. After New Orleans defeated them both times in the regular season, Tampa Bay got their revenge in a 30-20 victory to end the Saints’ season.

It was far from what Saints fans hoped for. In what was likely quarterback Drew Brees’s final game, New Orleans did everything they could to keep their dreams of sending him off into the sunset with a second Super Bowl title alive.

The Saints finished with 294 total yards of offense, 104 of which came on the ground. Running back Alvin Kamara shouldered the...
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5 players the New Orleans Saints should extend this offseason

  • News source: Kade Kistner
  • Replies: 0
Despite talk and rumors of the New Orleans Saints possibly trading for their next franchise quarterback, let’s assume they do not. For this practice, the Saints will not trade for Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford, and instead will roll the dice with signing Jameis Winston to a team-friendly deal. This would conceivably give New Orleans a little more cap space to work with, especially after the restructuring of contracts and extensions.

Additionally, the players listed below are still under contract with the team and are not set to be unrestricted free agents.

Here are five players the...
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Teams need to get their injury report facts straight

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
A strange dynamic has come into focus during the playoffs: Multiple teams have posted inaccurate injury information on their official websites.

It’s not that injuries are being hidden. It’s that actual injuries aren’t being accurately reported on team websites.

The most recent example came on Wednesday, when the information posted at the Bills’ official website, and in turn on the Chiefs’ official website, showed that Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs did not practice due to an oblique injury. In reality, Diggs participated on a limited basis. (Eventually, the online errors were rectified.)...
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If he retires, Drew Brees leaves legacy of greatness in New Orleans

  • News source: KSkiver35
  • Replies: 0
When Sean Payton and Drew Brees came to New Orleans together in 2006, it was impossible to know what was about to happen to the Saints organization. Brees was an above-average quarterback coming off of arthroscopic surgery to repair torn right labrum, whereas Payton was a first-time head coach who avoided being fired by the Giants by getting poached from the Cowboys.

Brees only had one other serious suitor in 2006 — the Miami Dolphins — who ultimately decided to trade for Dante Culpepper after team doctors indicated signing him wasn’t the best move. The Saints took a chance on the then...
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Best quarterback options for the Saints heading into the 2021 season

  • News source: Hayden Reel
  • Replies: 0
Drew Brees has likely played his final game for the New Orleans Saints, leaving the quarterback position up for grabs for the first time since Brees signed with the team back in 2006. There are many options out there for New Orleans to fill their now vacant quarterback position, ranging from players we have already seen start for the Saints, to a splash trade that would make the Saints instant Super Bowl contenders. The NFL Draft could also present opportunities for them to find their next franchise QB, or just to foster an open competition come training camp.

No matter what route they...
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