The Saints have informed veteran safety Marcus Maye they will release him at the start of the league year, Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report reports.
Maye signed a three year, $22.5 million contract with the Saints as a free agent in 2022, but he missed as many games (17) as he played (17) in two seasons. That includes a three-game suspension.
If Maye is designated a post-June 1 cut, he will count $2.414 million in dead money and open $7.235 million in cap space.
Maye, who turns 31 next week, spent his first five seasons with the Jets after they made him a second-round pick in 2017.
In 77 career games, he has totaled 409 tackles, eight interceptions, 28 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and 4.5 sacks.
Dennis Allen was effusive in his praise of Marshon Lattimore, but the Saints coach offered no guarantees about the cornerback’s future with the team.
“Lat’s a big part of our team, right now,” Allen said, via Matthew Paras of nola.com.
The Saints will have to decide what to do with Lattimore, who has no guaranteed money on his deal. Lattimore is scheduled to make $1.21 million in base salary and count $14.6 million against the salary cap this season in a contract that runs through 2026.
The Saints surely will listen to trade offers for the four-time Pro Bowler, but will anyone have interest in a trade for a player who has missed 17 total games the past two seasons?
“Yeah, really, I think it’s about guys that we feel like can help us win football games, guys that we feel like can continue to build the right type of culture here, and guys that are willing to do the things that it’s necessary to do to succeed,” Allen said. “And so, look, like I said, Marshon’s a part of our football team. He’s been a big part of our football team.
“Unfortunately, the last couple years, health has been a big factor in that. And so I think the biggest thing is let’s get Marshon healthy and let’s see where we’re at as a football team, and we’ll get the right guys out there that gives us a chance to win.”
In 10 games last season, Lattimore made 48 tackles, an interception and eight passes defensed.
The list of restructured contracts in New Orleans continues to grow.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that veteran defensive end Cam Jordan’s deal has been restructured. The result is $1.5 million more in cap space for the Saints to work with when the new league year opens in March.
Quarterback Derek Carr, guard Cesar Ruiz, defensive end Carl Granderson, defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, and center Erik McCoy have also had their deals reworked recently. The moves continue a long tradition of the Saints moving money into future seasons in order to get under the cap in the short term.
Jordan is signed through 2025 with a number of void years tacked on to his deal to further spread out his cap hits. He had 43 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery this season.
The Saints have been fond of restructuring contracts to create short-term cap space and they are continuing that habit this offseason.
Right guard Cesar Ruiz is one of the players who has restructured his deal this year. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the move has cleared $6.4 million for the Saints to use this year.
Ruiz started all 16 games he played for the Saints last year and has started 56 games since being drafted in the first round in 2020. Ruiz is in the first year of the four-year contract extension he signed with New Orleans last year.
The Saints have also restructured the contracts of quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Carl Granderson, center Erik McCoy and defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd since the end of the regular season.
The Saints are continuing to work on getting under the 2024 salary cap, while putting themselves even further over the 2025 salary cap.
The latest move is to convert some of edge rusher Carl Granderson’s 2024 base salary into a signing bonus that can be spread over the remaining three seasons of Granderson’s contract, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
This year, that means Granderson will cost only $5.25 million against the Saints’ salary cap, per OverTheCap.com. That’s a good deal for the player who led the team with 8.5 sacks in 2023.
The bad news is, Granderson’s cap hits now increase to $11.7 million in 2025, $16.8 million in 2026 and $16.8 million in 2027. Moves like this are why the Saints are going to continue to have salary cap problems in future years.