Bunkley deal cap-friendly for Saints

I’ve got the details of the five-year contract defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley signed with the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday.

The deal averages $4.5 million a season and includes a $4.5 million signing bonus. But the structure is very cap friendly in the first year. Bunkley’s cap figure for 2012 is only $1.6 million. That’s good news for a team that had only about $3 million in available cap space before Bunkley’s deal and is still working to get quarterback Drew Brees signed to a long-term contract. Bunkley helped the Saints out by accepting a base salary of $700,000 this year and spreading out large chunks of money over the rest of the contract.

In 2013, Bunkley has a $3.7 million base salary that’s fully guaranteed. In 2014, Bunkley’s salary jumps to $4.4 million and it stays there for the final two years of the deal. Bunkley also has a $100,000 workout bonus each year, starting in 2013. He also has escalator clauses that could drive up his base salary in any season, starting next year.