The Saints are getting necessarily busy on the financial front as they try to work their way toward the salary cap and attempt to get under it.
A day after the news the Saints were considering trading defensive tackle Malcom Brown in order to achieve some cap relief, New Orleans agreed to a two-year deal with safety and special teamer J.T. Gray, keeping him with the team on a deal worth $4 million ($2 million) guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team announced the move later Wednesday.
Perhaps more importantly, the Saints also restructured defensive tackle David Onyemata's contract, creating $4.34M in cap space, per Rapoport. New Orleans also released tight ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill.
The Saints are going to have to continue to steadily chip away at their salary cap issue in a manner such as this if they want to attempt to remain competitive while also getting under the cap. A move like trading Brown would make sense, as he's in the final year of a three-year deal and his departure combined with Onyemata's restructure would clear nearly $10 million in space. And plenty of smaller moves -- including re-signings and restructures -- are sure to continue coming.
Here's other news Around The NFL is monitoring on Wednesday:
- The following is a complete breakdown of defensive end J.J. Watt's two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per Rapoport: $12M signing bonus; $14.5M base value in Year 1; $28M base over 2 years, max $31M; $3M in incentives based on sacks; 10 sacks in 2021 gets him $1M and a $1M escalator for 2022 and 10 sacks in 2022 gets him another $1M. His pact, which NFL Network's Mike Garafolo noted includes a no-trade clause, became official Wednesday.
- San Francisco 49ers center Weston Richburg recently underwent hip surgery, Rapoport reported, per an informed source. There is no timetable for his return. Though his future is still to be determined, Rapoport added that Richburg, who didn't play in 2020 due to injuries and is due $8.35M in 2021, has likely played his last down in SF. The Niners claimed cornerback Mark Fields off waivers form the Texans.
- The Miami Dolphins have hired former Patriots communications strategist Anne Noland to run their communications department as senior director of football communications, Rapoport reported. Noland becomes the third woman in the NFL to lead a team's PR efforts, joining Amy Palcic of the Jaguars and Emily Parker of the Bengals.
- The New York Giants released wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo, per Rapoport.
- The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed long snapper Clark Harris and cornerback Jalen Davis to one-year extensions. Harris has served as Cincy's long snapper since 2009.
- The Las Vegas Raiders signed long snapper Trent Sieg to a three-year extension through 2023.
- The Chicago Bears re-signed five exclusive rights free agents: offensive lineman Alex Bars , inside linebacker Josh Woods, outside linebacker James Vaughters , running back Ryan Nall and tight end J.P. Holtz.
- The Seattle Seahawks announced three additions to their coaching staff: longtime assistant Carl Smith, DeShawn Shead and Tracy Smith. Carl Smith, who spent the past two years with the Texans after seven seasons with the Seahawks, will be the associate head coach. His son, Tracy, will be an assistant special teams coach. This is the first NFL coaching job for Snead, a former Seahawks DB who will serve as a defensive assistant/defensive backs coach. Larry Izzo has been promoted to special teams coordinator after filling in for Brian Schneider last year.
- The Washington Football Team released veteran linebacker Thomas Davis, who announced in December he would be retiring after the 2020 season. Davis confirmed those intentions Wednesday, posting on Instagram that he would be signing a one-day contract with the Panthers before calling it quits on a great career.