The Saints are staring at the largest salary cap deficit in the NFL, which means cost-cutting measures are undoubtedly coming.
Count Nick Easton as a cap casualty. New Orleans released the veteran guard on Friday, according to the league's official transaction wire. The move will save New Orleans $5.875 million in cap space and clear $6.5M in cash off the books as it attempts to dig itself out of a massive salary hole, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Easton appeared in 12 games in 2020, starting nine of them and serving as a reliable backup behind Andrus Peat and rookie Cesar Ruiz. Easton ranked just behind Peat in Pro Football Focus' player grades and ahead of Ruiz, illustrating his ability to step in and help the Saints continue forward without missing a beat.
He's a valuable veteran who could start for some teams, but isn't worth keeping for the Saints, who desperately need to shed salary and can't afford to pay a backup roughly $6 million. Easton also suffered two concussions in 2020, landing on injured reserve after the second one in early January.