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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Saints morning report: Dead money

By Mike Triplett

As ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert broke down, the New Orleans Saints rank fourth in the NFL in "dead money" on their 2014 salary cap. They have $10.45 million in leftover signing-bonus charges from players no longer with the team.

That’s not surprising, considering the Saints just released three of their highest-priced veterans last week (Will Smith, Roman Harper and Jabari Greer), who account for a combined $8.7 million of that total. Kicker Garrett Hartley, who was released late last season, counts for another $1 million. And former linebacker Chris Chamberlain counts for $400,000, among several other small charges.

That’s not ideal, obviously. As former NFL executive and current NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt said, “Dead money catches up to you. Because you’re not playing on a level playing field if the cap is $128 million, and you’re only playing with $115 million.”

That being said, it doesn’t mean the Saints were wrong to part ways with those veterans at this stage of their careers. They saved millions more in cap space -- and in real money -- by cutting their large salaries. And next year, that dead money will be off the books, which will give the Saints some wiggle room to sign free agents into future years.

Here’s a roundup of some of the other top Saints-related links around the web this week: