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Dannell Ellerbe accepts pay cut from Saints

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

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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