I will be doing a series of articles that will be taking a methodical team by team approach to next year’s possible free agents. I will be starting with the team that has the least amount of salary cap space and ending with the team with the most. I will try to give a brief description of as many of the possible free agents as I can. I will also be looking for players that might be salary cap cuts in order for their teams to make room to sign some of these possible free agents. Any information anyone else can contribute on these players would be very much appreciated.
The New Orleans Saints are projected to be $25,983,284 UNDER the cap (all salary info via Over The Cap) for 2017 and have 44 players under contract. There isn’t much to see today but I will be breaking down the Packers tomorrow and you don’t want to miss that one.
(EastBayNinerFan has the combined total of the salary cap surplus carry over from 2016 and the cap space for 2017 as $32,395,588)
Dollar figures listed are player’s 2016 cap hit.
LG Tim Lelito - $1,671,000
Tim Lelito is 27 years old and was originally picked up by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2013. The Saints used the restricted free agent tender on Lelito this season. He is listed as a guard but is also the backup center and Pro Football Focus has him rated as the 27th best center in the league this year. He would be a huge upgrade from Marcus Martin.
S Roman Harper - $680,000
Roman Harper is 34 years old and was drafted by the Saints in the second round of the 2006 draft. Harper is back with the Saints after a two year stint with the Panthers. It is good to see him closing out his career with the Saints. Harper has 18 tackles this year.
RG Jahri Evans - $1,000,000
Jahri Evans is 33 years old and was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2006 draft. PFF has Evan rated as the 34th best guard in the NFL this season so I don’t know what the $1,000,000 is all about.
FB John Kuhn - $600,000
John Kuhn is 34 years old and was originally picked up by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2005. I don’t know what we would do with a 34 year old fullback.
43DE Darryl Tapp - $600,000
Darryl Tapp is 32 years old and was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2006 draft. Tapp looks like another aging dead end with the 49ers running a 34 defense.
S Jamarca Sanford - $680,000
Jamarca Sanford is 31 years old and was originally drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. Sanford signed with the Saints in November of 2014. The Saints placed him on the injured reserve earlier this summer. He has 30 tackles over the last 3 years.
LT Tony Hills $529,412
Tony Hills is 32 years old and was originally drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. Hills has been on at least 10 different NFL teams. He signed with the Saints in October of 2015. He has only played 52 snaps this season.
RB Tim Hightower - $850,000
Tim Hightower is 30 years old and was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. Hightower was cut by Washington in late August of 2012 and did not play again in the NFL until 2015. He has 111 carries for 453 yards this season. I wonder if the time off will prolong his career?
CB Kyle Wilson - $680,000
Kyle Wilson is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Jets in the first round of the 2010 draft. Wilson was placed on injured reserve in June. He had 27 tackles, four passes defended and one interception in 2015.
CB Sterling Moore - $600,000
Sterling Moore is 26 years old and was originally picked up by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Moore is another player that has been tossed around the league. He signed with the Saints in September and has 40 tackles, 11 passes defended and two interceptions this season. PFF has him rated as the 37th best CB in the NFL this season. Not bad for a journeyman that barely gets a chance to unpack his suitcase.
S Shiloh Keo - $282,353
Shiloh Keo is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Texans in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. The Saints signed Keo in November after he was cut by the Broncos. Keo has mostly played on Special teams and has 11 tackles in the last four years.
TE John Phillips - $282,353
John Phillips is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Phillips was signed by the Saints after being cut by the Broncos in November. He has seven receptions for 48 yards this season.
CB BW Webb - $635,294
BW Webb is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Webb was picked up by the Saints in September after being released by the Titans. He has 18 tackles as a backup this season.
ILB Sam Barrington - $282,353
Sam Barrington is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Packers in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. Sam Barrington was picked up by the Saints in November after being released by the Chiefs. He has two tackles in the last two years.
ILB Michael Mauti - $675,000
Michael Mauti is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. Mauti was signed by the Saints in October of 2015. He mainly plays on special teams and was placed on the non-football injury list in November.