The New Orleans Saints have restructured the contract of running back Mark Ingram in order to open up more salary cap space, according to NFLPA records.
Ingram, who was previously scheduled to make $3 million in base salary this year, will now make $765,000 in base salary, with the rest of the $2.235 million converted to a signing bonus.
By converting Ingram’s base salary to a signing bonus, the Saints were able to save $1.49 million off the cap this year.
The hit from the signing bonus is then spread over the rest of the cap. Ingram’s cap numbers rise to $5.245 million in 2017 and $6.245 million in 2018, rising from $4.5 and $5.5 million. New Orleans restructured the contracts of both defensive end Cameron Jordan and punter Thomas Morstead in the same way to clear space for the Saints’ recent signings.
Now, the Saints head into April with $3,604,470 in cap space, according to NFLPA records, after the new contracts for Nick Fairley and tight end Josh Hill have been added to the system.
The Chicago Bears tried to add a few wrinkles to make it difficult for the Saints to keep Hill.
As part of his deal, the tight end has a no-trade clause written into his deal for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, according to source. The clause was written in by the Bears, who signed Hill to an offer sheet, and became part of the Saints’ deal when New Orleans matched the offer.
But the good news is that his cap number of $1.58 million is actually lower than his tender of $1.67 million, which means keeping him actually gave the Saints a little more cap room in 2016.
A closer look
USC linebacker Su’a Cravens has an official visit set up with the Saints, and New Orleans will work out Boise State offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo next week, league sources have confirmed to The Advocate.
Cravens, who mentioned his pre-draft visit on Pro Football Talk on Wednesday, is a hybrid linebacker/safety who could fit on the weak side in the Saints defense, the spot manned by Dannell Ellerbe last season.
With NFL teams looking for lighter, faster linebackers who can cover running backs, tight ends and slot receivers, Cravens represents a hybrid player in the mold of Arizona’s Deone Bucannon or Los Angeles’ Mark Barron.
Cravens, 6-foot-1, 226 pounds at the NFL combine, was a multi-purpose weapon for the Trojans, racking up 207 tackles, 10.5 sacks and nine interceptions at USC.
Odhiambo, a 6-4, 314-pounder who only did the bench press in Indianapolis as he recovers from a broken ankle suffered last October, played tackle at Boise State, but he projects as a guard in the NFL.