That means the Saints will probably be able to squeeze under the salary cap when the new deals for Byrd and Pierre Thomas are officially processed on Thursday. However, they will clearly need to carve out even more space to add more players. Trading Darren Sproles will free up another $3.5 million, among other moves they might make.
So how does that math work?
Byrd received a signing bonus of $11 million on the six-year, $54 million contract. But for salary-cap accounting purposes, that figure gets divided over the first five years of his deal. His first-year salary is $1.3 million.
He will then count close to $10 million against the Saints' cap over the final five years of his deal -- assuming he lasts the entire six years (never a safe assumption in today's NFL).
Byrd, 27, will receive a total of $20.3 million in fully-guaranteed money over the first three years, plus another $6 million that is guaranteed for injury only. He's due to make a total of $27.9 million over the first three years -- which is always the key time frame on deals like this, since those years are virtually guaranteed.
Here's the breakdown:
2014: $1.3 million salary, $3.5 million cap number
2015: $2 million salary, $6 million guaranteed roster bonus, $100,000 workout bonus, $10.3 million cap number
2016: $7.4 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus, $9.7 million cap number
2017: $8.6 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus, $10.9 million cap number
2018: $8.6 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus, $10.9 million cap number
2019: $8.6 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus, $8.7 million cap number