The New Orleans Saints’ winding road to get under the salary cap continues with yet another contract restructure.
This time it’s star wide receiver Michael Thomas.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Saints restructured Thomas’ contract creating $8.7 million in salary-cap space, per sources informed of the situation.
Usually, simple contract restructures aren’t notable. This season, particularly in New Orleans, is much different. The move is the latest as the Saints, who at one point sat some $60 million over the salary cap, whittle their way to under the $182.5 million threshold before the start of the new league year on March 17.
Thomas signed a five-year, $96-plus-million contract extension in 2019. He restructured it once last year to free up cap space. The Saints returned to that well once again in 2021 to earn more room to get under the cap.
Trade rumors swirled last season regarding the star receiver, who played in just seven games, catching 40 passes for 438 yards and no TDs, all career lows. The contract restructure, which reduces his base salary to spread the money over the next several seasons, upping his cap hit in the future, ensures the 28-year-old wideout will remain with the club.
Even with the latest cuts and restructures, the Saints remain above the $182.5 million salary cap, so Thomas’ restructure isn’t the last move New Orleans will make before next Wednesday.
Other clubs are also restructuring players to free up cap space.
Rapoport reported the Las Vegas Raiders restructured linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski (freeing up $2.7 million) and linebacker Cory Littleton ($4.4 million).
The Ravens, meanwhile, restructured corner Marcus Peters’ contract, freeing up $3.5 million in cap space, per Rapoport.
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