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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

5 Players the Saints should re-sign this offseason

  • News source: Kade Kistner
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints will aim to remain competitive in the upcoming 2021 NFL season. However, the potential retirement of Drew Brees and the salary cap dilemma have many fans worried that competitive may not be the case.

Fortunately, through contract restructures and extensions, New Orleans will have some money to play with and may aim to re-sign some of their stars that are currently free agents. Here are the top five players the team should target:

While many fans are clamoring to trade for Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford, we are aiming to be a bit more pragmatic. The Saints will...
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Saints fan confidence tumbles heading into tumultuous offseason

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in New Orleans Saints fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

With the loss over the weekend the Saints season came to an end. But with it came the end of an era. The way things have come to an end has shaken the confidence of Saints fans.

Does Drew Brees retire? Who is the quarterback of the Saints in 2021? Will the Saints be able to contend next year when they’re slated to be over $100 million over the cap?

These questions don’t have answers, and...
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NFL Playoff Picks 2021: Conference Championships

  • News source: Wallace Delery
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints suffered yet another devastating playoff loss in the Divisional Round, dashing the Saints’ Super Bowl hopes once again and putting a damper on these playoffs since that time. Of course, the NFL Playoffs steam ahead as the road to the Super Bowl comes near its end. Now, let’s take a look at the matchups ahead.

The NFL’s final four take the stage to determine who moves on to Super Bowl LV. The NFC title matchup features the two most media-adored quarterbacks in NFL history, while the AFC title matchup features the best overall team in the NFL this year, in Kansas...
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POLL: Who do you want to win between the Packers and Buccaneers?

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
This Sunday the Green Bay Packers are set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game. For New Orleans Saints fans who will still watch the game just because they enjoy watching football, this presents a bit of a conundrum. Who do you wind up cheering for?

The case for:

What’s another ring for Tom Brady at this point? All things considered, he seems like a decent enough dude. He threw a touchdown pass to Drew Brees’s kids after last week’s game for Pete’s sake! If Brady has 6 rings, 7 rings, or 11 rings, it doesn’t really change the hierarchy of the NFL’s greatest...
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Report: Chargers, Seahawks want to interview Joe Lombardi for offensive coordinator

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
The Saints lost one offensive assistant when Dan Campbell was hired as the head coach of the Lions and another member of Sean Payton’s staff could be in the mix for a couple of offensive coordinator openings.

Jeff Duncan of reports that the Chargers and Seahawks have requested permission to interview quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi for their offensive coordinator openings.

Lombardi is in his second stint with the Saints. He returned to the team in 2016 after spending two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Lions.

Prior to entering the NFL as a Falcons assistant...
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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

  • Replies: 0
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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