- Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New Orleans Saints saved $4 million in salary-cap space by working out a new three-year contract with guard Jahri Evans earlier this week. The new deal is a three-year, $18 million contract, according to ESPN Stats and Information, and lowers his cap figure from $11 million to $7 million.
As a result, the Saints were $4.7 million under the salary cap as of Friday -- leaving them plenty of space to sign their draft picks and possibly even add another free agent or two if desired.
Evans accepted a small pay cut in 2015 (from $7.5 million in salary and bonuses to $7.1 million) and a larger pay cut in 2016 (from $8.7 million to $4.9 million). But the payoff for the six-time Pro Bowler is that $9.5 million is guaranteed over the next two years, including a $5.4 million signing bonus.
The new contract also includes an additional year in 2017, though that year is not guaranteed. Evans' original seven-year, $56.7 million deal was scheduled to expire after the 2016 season.
Here’s the breakdown of Evans’ new deal:
2015: $5.4 million signing bonus. $1.003 million base salary. $500,000 roster bonus (already paid). Up to $97,000 total in per-game roster bonuses. $100,000 workout bonus. Salary-cap cost: $7 million.
2016: $3.8 million base salary. $1 million roster bonus. $100,000 workout bonus. Salary-cap cost: $8.2 million (down from original cap cost of $10.2 million).
2017: $4.9 million base salary. $1 million roster bonus. $100,000 workout bonus. Salary-cap cost: $7.8 million.
Also, newly signed cornerback Kyle Wilson received a one-year, $825,000 contract, including an $80,000 signing bonus. Wilson's deal only counts $665,000 against the salary cap since it qualifies as a veteran-minimum deal.