Saints quarterback Drew Brees and safety Jairus Byrd, who have two of the biggest contracts on the team, have contract guarantees that kick in Wednesday, the third day of the waiver period, Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Six million of Byrd’s $7.4 million 2016 base salary becomes guaranteed on Wednesday.
The Saints would also be on the hook for the remaining prorated portion of his signing bonus were they to cut him this spring, which would accelerate into this year’s salary cap. Although Byrd was paid his signing bonus upfront, for salary cap purposes, $11.4 million of the bonus remains on the books.
Additionally, $10.85 million of Brees’ $19.75 million 2016 base salary becomes guaranteed on Wednesday. In the long run, that doesn’t mean much, as the Saints have already professed that they expect him to be their quarterback going into next season.
However, the Saints likely will try to find some cap relief with Brees’ contract, which has one year remaining and carries a $30 million hit to the salary cap. The most likely option is an extension which would spread out the money over a few years.