Rookie Jeremy Hill gives Bengals much-needed boost _lowres

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) carries as New Orleans Saints nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (77) tackles in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The Saints are continuing to whittle down salary.

In a move to create some breathing room, New Orleans reportedly renegotiated the contract of defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, according to an ESPN report.

Bunkley, 31, logged 376 snaps over 11 games last season. He finished the season with 17 tackles before finishing the season on injured reserve.

Under the terms of his previous contract, Bunkley was due to count $6.11 million against the salary cap. The terms of the current agreement are not yet known.

The Saints also restructured the contract of wide receiver Marques Colston Friday morning.

Entering Friday, New Orleans needed to trim more than $15 million in cap space.

Sanford re-signs

The Saints will maintain their depth at safety.

The team has agreed to terms that will bring veteran safety Jamarca Sanford back to New Orleans on a one-year deal, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Sanford was signed by the Saints in November after injuries to safeties Jairus Byrd and Vinnie Sunseri robbed the team of its depth. New Orleans also has Kenny Vaccaro, Pierre Warren, Marcus Ball, Kenny Phillips and Rafael Bush at safety.

Serving mostly as depth, Sanford started two games at the end of the season and recorded 10 tackles in the season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He logged a total of 110 snaps last season.

Sanford, a 10-year veteran, has two career interceptions and eight forced fumbles. He will likely have to win a job in training camp to make the roster.

Restricted interest

The Saints will surrender a layer of protection in their efforts to retain Tyrunn Walker and running back Travaris Cadet.

New Orleans has the ability to tender the restricted free agent, which would require and initial one-year, $1.54 million offer and give the team the right of first refusal on any offers from other teams. But the Saints will decline these right and instead try to sign the duo for less money, according to an ESPN report.

Offensive lineman Bryce Harris is also an unrestricted free agent.

Losing Walker or Cadet could hurt the Saints.

An undrafted free agent in 2012, Walker provided depth at both tackle and defensive end and showed promise on the defensive line last season by recording 2.5 sacks and forcing a fumble. If he were to depart, New Orleans would need to find additional depth from somewhere else.

If Cadet is not retained, he would be the second running back to leave the Saints after Pierre Thomas was cut earlier this week. Mark Ingram, who is an unrestricted free agent, could also sign with another team as early as Tuesday.

Cadet provided depth at running back, often serving behind Thomas as the third-down back or in passing situations. He caught 38 passes for 296 yards with a touchdown last season.

Ingram insurance

The Saints could be eyeing a replacement option for Ingram.

With the running back set to hit the open market, NFL Network reports New Orleans is looking at Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett as a possible fallback option if he reaches the open market.

The 29-year-old Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns on 235 carries and caught 44 passes for 263 yards last season in his first year as a lead running back.

Many teams shy away from running backs Forsett’s age, but the 5-foot-8, 197 pounder only has 582 career carries.

Forsett is a different type of runner than Ingram. Of his 1,266 yards, 759 came to the outside. Ingram, meanwhile, gained 585 of his 964 yards between the tackles.