Well the first 3 rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft are officially in the books and as far as the Salary CAP goes, these are the only rounds which really matter. Contracts signed by these incoming rookies are high enough to change the TOP 51 player list, which dictates team’s Salary CAP. The Saints, thanks to some magnificent wheeling & dealing by Mickey Loomis, ended up getting 3 players – Kenny Vaccaro in the 1st, Terron Armstead and John Jenkins, both in the 3rd. Thanks to the new Rookie Salary CAP we already know what these players contracts will look like as well as what their year by year CAP hits will be. Looking at the numbers, it appears that only Vaccaro & possibly Armstead’s deals will impact the Saints this year. Vaccaro should have a 2013 CAP hit of right around $1.75m; Armstead’s should be right near $560k & Jenkins just under $550k.
Where are the Saints currently standing CAP wise? Well, first you have to remove Chris Ivory’s $2.03m since he (unfortunately) is now a member of the Jets. Of all the players currently under contract with the Saints, only Will Herring’s contract details have yet to be released. I am expecting his 2013 CAP figure to be around $850k, but this is a guess. Using that number, it would put the Saints CAP total at $121.9m or $3.2m UNDER the CAP. Now let’s plug in the rookies.
If Vaccaro & Armstead sign for what I expect them to get, they would bump Corey White ($524k) & Greg Romeous ($552k) off the Top 51 list. $1.75m + $560k = $2.32m – $1.07m = Net impact on the CAP of around $2.3m.
Bottom line, after the Saints sign their draft picks they will have just a hair under $1m left in CAP space. This gives them a little bit of breathing room if they want to sign any “cut list” players from other teams during preseason or injury replacement players during the season. This also doesn’t take into account Roman Harper & when the “other shoe hits the floor” concerning his status on the team. They have the room to keep him if they want to or they can release him after June 1st and cut his dead money CAP hit in half, which would free up several million in CAP space. Time will tell how the Saints move with him, but suffice to say the Saints have sailed through another season of “CAP Purgatory” with flying colors.