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Dannell Ellerbe accepts pay cut from Saints

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When the New Orleans Saints traded for Dannell Ellerbe, the plan all along was to reduce the linebacker's weighty contract.

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That's exactly what they've done with the former Miami Dolphins defender.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Ellerbe's base salary for 2015 has been chopped from $8.425 million to $1.1 million, per a source who has seen the deal. Ellerbe is guaranteed to make $4.9 million in 2015 off additional signing and roster bonuses. Previously scheduled to earn $6.45 million in base pay in 2016 and another $6 million in 2017, Ellerbe will now average $5.2 million over those two seasons with bonus pay factored in.

Traded along with a third-round pick for wideout Kenny Stills, Ellerbe is getting a second chance in New Orleans after two disappointing seasons in Miami. His pay cut was part of the deal, Rapoport was told, making the move palatable for a Saints front office battling the salary cap.

Draft pick aside, the Dolphins landed the player with the higher upside. Stills is an intriguing pass-catcher who won't cost Miami much coin. Ellerbe, 29, has yet to live up to his billing -- or his previously outrageous pay grade.

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