Salary-cap status: New Orleans Saints

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints are next in our team-by-team series of updates on where each NFC South team stands as far as the salary cap.

Keep in mind, these numbers are very much in flux at the moment as teams sign players to future contracts and incentives reached in 2008 haven't been factored in yet. The cap is expected to be $123 million.

Salary-cap status: $4.6 million over the salary cap.

Overview: Yes, that's correct, the Saints are over the salary cap at the moment. But they'll have to get under the cap before the start of free agency and that probably will be painful. Running back Deuce McAllister, perhaps the most popular player in franchise history, appears destined for release and some other veterans also could go. The Saints will attempt to re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma, their best player on defense, and that's not going to be cheap. Getting a bunch of injured guys back might be the highlight of the Saints' offseason because they're not going to have the room to do much in free agency and they presently have only four draft picks this year.