The New Orleans Saints are only $1 million under the 2014 salary cap, and as a result, will have to shed some salary to sign free agents. Running backs Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, as well as wide receiver Lance Moore, are reportedly on the trade market, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.


As the Saints continue their expensive negotiations with tight end Jimmy Graham, general manager Mickey Loomis is busily finagling his team's salary.

Moore carries a cap number of $5.069 million. If released, the Saints would save $3.8 million on the cap. Sproles' cap number is less at $4.25 million, and if released, would free up $3.5 million of cap space. Thomas' cap number is $2.9 million, which is the exact same amount New Orleans would acquire in cap space by releasing him.

If the Saints were to trade any of the players, they'd save even more money. However, the chances of any team trading for one of the players is unlikely due to the cap hold that would come along with the player.

Defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley is most likely to either be released, or asked to take a pay cut. While Bunkley was serviceable in 2013, his $6.1 million cap number is far too large for a player of his production, on a team that's strapped near the salary cap line. If New Orleans released him, it would save them $4.5 million each of the next 3 seasons. It would also cost them $1.6 million in cap space each of the next 3 seasons. The likely scenario (which has probably already occurred) is Loomis approaching Bunkley's agent about a pay cut.

Stay tuned. Free agency begins in 5 days. Mickey Loomis has a lot of work to do beforehand.

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