Saints restructure contracts with Colston, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, David Hawthorne to create salary-cap space
The New Orleans Saints have restructured contracts with receiver Marques Colston and guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs to create more in salary-cap space, league sources have confirmed. They also restructured linebacker David Hawthorne's deal, according to ESPN.com. Add Hawthorne's reported restructuring and the Saints have cut around $10 million off their 2013 salary cap figure with these four reworked deals. The deals don't involve pay cuts. Instead the players converted portions of their base salaries into signing bonuses -- a very common practice used by NFL teams to create short-term salary-cap relief. As of last count, the Saints were estimated to be around $15 million over the projected 2013 salary cap of roughly $122 million-$123 million -- though that number is very fluid as they continue to rework deals and start to make some tender offers to their restricted free agents. Evans' deal, which was confirmed by agent Jerrold Colton, will save the Saints roughly $3 million in 2013 cap space. According to salary figures, Evans' 2013 base salary is now $3.04 million, down from a scheduled $7.2 million. That difference was converted into signing bonus, so Evans will still get all the money up front. But for accounting purposes, that $4.2 million will be spread out over the final four years of his deal. It's the second consecutive offseason where the Saints have asked Evans to restructure his contract. Grubbs' deal will also save the Saints $3 million in 2013 cap space, as first reported by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas. Grubbs converted $4 million of his 2013 salary into signing bonus. His base salary will go from $5.2 million to $1.2 million. Hawthorne's deal will save the Saints $2.05 million, according to Yasinskas. He converted a scheduled $3 million roster bonus into a signing bonus. Colston's deal was first reported by CBS' Jason La Canfora. Pro Football Talk later added details which have since been confirmed. Colston converted $2.8 million of his base salary into signing bonus, which will create $2.1 million in cap savings this year. La Canfora also reported that the Saints have offered new, discounted deals to defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma that would allow them to stay. No specific details of such offers are known, but league sources have confirmed that the Saints and players have been discussing the possibility.
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