There are several reasons for this and let’s start with the obvious. First off, Greer is New Orleans’ top cornerback and probably the best cornerback in the NFC South. He’s in his prime, so it makes plenty of sense to keep him around.
Now, let’s go beyond the obvious. Greer was scheduled to count $6.3 million toward this year’s cap. We don’t know the structure of his new deal yet (although reports say its value is about $23 million), but you can be sure his cap figure for this season has been lowered by several million dollars. It’s really easy to give a player a nice signing bonus. They’d rather have the money up front than wait for it to come as base salary in weekly game checks. The signing bonus gets spread out over the life of the contract as it pertains to salary-cap implications. So this is a win-win situation for Greer and the Saints.
The upfront money and the added years are nice for Greer. For the Saints, who were very tight against the salary cap, the move gives them a little room to work with. They’ll need every bit of it because Drew Brees’ franchise tender moved from $14 million to $16 million on Friday as part of a league rule. If Brees signs a long-term contract, his cap figure could go even higher than $16 million.