Saints down to $850K in cap space based on Dannell Ellerbe deal

The New Orleans Saints are down to roughly $850,000 in salary-cap space according to updated information from ESPN Stats & Information and the NFL Players Association -- a decrease of $700,000 from previous estimates.

The difference comes from linebacker Dannell Ellerbe’s deal. It was originally believed that a $2.1 million roster bonus due April 1 would count against the Miami Dolphins’ salary cap. Instead, it will count against the Saints’ cap at $700,000 per year from 2015-17.

That’s not a major difference for the Saints, but every dollar counts since they’re so close to the cap. They’ll probably need to create about $2 million more in salary-cap space to fit in their draft picks, barring trades. And they’ll need even more if they plan to add any other free agents above the veteran minimum salary level.

Coach Sean Payton already referenced two ways the Saints can create more space last week. He said the team plans to rework guard Jahri Evans’ deal, which counts $11 million against this year’s cap (though Payton didn’t specify, it’s possible that could include a pay cut). Payton also said the Saints have talked with defensive end Cameron Jordan’s agent about a possible long-term contract extension, which could include a reduced cap figure in 2015 (Jordan’s $6.969 million salary for this year counts fully against the cap).

Other roster cuts or trades are also possible -- though they aren't necessary strictly for cap purposes if the Saints can use some of those other methods instead.