Originally written March 24, 2013 on The Saints Nation:
It was reported after the contract restructures by Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith just prior to the offseason starting that the Saints were somewhere around $8.5 million under the salary cap. Enough room to add some talent but likely not make a massive splash in free agency. Since then, the Saints have signed Justin Drescher, Keenan Lewis, Ramon Humber, Ben Watson, Will Herring and Courtney Roby. Many of these contracts are undisclosed, but it's safe to assume each of the four returning Saints players had salaries around or less than $1 million. I'm going to say they count $3 million against the cap collectively. Ben Watson signed a 3 years $3.15 million deal with 950k going against cap in year one, while Keenan Lewis will count $2.25 against the cap in year one. That means the Saints have spent roughly $6.2 million against the cap up to this point for 2013 and by my math that means that have about $2.3 million worth of cap space left for 2013. That should be enough to, at the very least, offer both Nnamdi Asomugha and Victor Butler low ball contracts, which we can already safely assume they've done. Since both players left without signatures, they are obviously weighing their options and not thrilled by the money the Saints were able to propose.  Admittedly my math is not exact and I'm not going to pretend to fully comprehend all the intricacies of the cap, so feel free to correct me where something may not be adding up. At some point the Saints are going to get close enough to that cap ceiling again that they may have to do something with Roman Harper's contract, though. Remember they'll still need to fill out the roster and sign their rookies. Maybe don't rule out Drew Brees getting approached by the same thing? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, but the point is the breathing room they gained from Smith and Vilma was a short lived relief.
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