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Saints Cap Space 2021: How is New Orleans Fielding a Team Next Season?

Max Staley
The New Orleans Saints will have a serious salary cap problem in 2021.
The New Orleans Saints will have a serious salary cap problem in 2021. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints aren't looking ahead to next season quite yet for obvious reasons. Right now, the team's focus is entirely on its upcoming Divisional Round Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But just because they can ignore the problem right now doesn't mean that they don't have one. And calling the Saints' 2021 financial situation a "problem" is putting it kindly.

Saints Cap Space 2021

New Orleans is currently projected to be just shy of $100 million over the cap in 2021, according to Spotrac.

The front office is acting like a college kid whose afraid to look at their credit card statement after a wild night out. But the bill always comes due. And the Saints will likely have to decimate their 2021 roster in order to pay it.

Assuming Drew Brees retires, New Orleans would only save about $13.5 million in next year's cap, which still has them about $86 million over the line. Parting ways veterans like Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook, Janoris Jenkins and Kwon Alexander, just to name a few, feels like an absolute necessity.

But losing all four of those key contributors wouldn't move the needle much. The Saints would still have to clear well over $50 million before they can do basic things like sign their draft picks. And obviously participating in free agency is pretty much out of the question.

To make matters worse, no one is really sure how the pandemic is going to impact the official 2021 cap. If the cap takes a league-wide dive, New Orleans could be in even more trouble than it already is.

Of course, NFL GMs are wizards with this stuff. And there are always ways to get around issues like this. But few teams have had to get over a financial hurdle as large as the one the Saints are facing.

Expect to see a flurry of trades, cuts, and restructured deals in the offseason.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.