Aug 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kellen Mond (7) looks for a receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Backup QB Kellen Mond agrees to terms with Saints

The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Kellen Mond have agreed to contract terms.

The team announced the deal on Friday without any details of the length or financial value.

The Saints have been on the lookout for a backup QB this offseason after the departure of Jameis Winston to the Cleveland Browns as a free agent.

They previously signed journeyman Nathan Peterman and also have Jake Haener, a 2023 fourth-round pick, on board as a prospective understudy to Derek Carr.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

He spent his first season with the Vikings, was with the Cleveland Browns briefly in 2022 and spent much of 2023 on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad. He has appeared in one regular-season game, completing two passes for 5 yards at Green Bay in Week 17 of 2021.

Mond, 24, was a four-year starter at Texas A&M and threw for 9,661 yards, 71 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

November 27, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk (71) after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Saints OT Ryan Ramczyk’s knee slow in recovery from surgery

The right knee of New Orleans Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk has not responded as well as hoped following offseason surgery, coach Dennis Allen said Tuesday.

Ramczyk, 29, could miss the 2024 season in his recovery from cartilage damage, NFL Network reported Tuesday, but Allen was being a bit more conservative in his assessment in taking a wait-and-see approach in the offseason and into training camp.

“He just isn’t quite where I was probably hoping he’d be, and really quite frankly, where he was hoping he’d be,” Allen told reporters at the NFL’s annual league meeting in Orlando, Fla. “But … there’s a long time before we kick the ball off, so I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions right now, but we’ll see how it goes over the next three, four, five, six months, whatever that is, before we get to the beginning of the season.”

Allen said he felt better about Ramczyk’s medical situation at the time of the procedure than he did Tuesday. For his part, Ramczyk said in December that he was uncertain about his future and would consult with medical professionals and make the best decision.

He described the damage to the knee then as a “nagging problem,” saying there wasn’t much cartilage remaining.

“This year it’s bugged me a little bit more than it has in the past,” he said at the time. “At some point, I just couldn’t play anymore.”

Ramczyk played in 12 games (all starts) in 2023. He played in at least 15 regular-season games in five of his first six seasons, all with the Saints, who selected him in the first round (32nd overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin.

He was first-team All-Pro in 2019 and second team in 2018 and 2020.

Ramczyk signed a five-year, $96 million contract extension in June 2021 but had no guaranteed money remaining on it. He and the team renegotiated a deal that gives him $6.5 million in guaranteed money this season between base salary and bonuses. providing the team salary cap relief.

–Field Level Media

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) in the first half in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Newly signed DE Chase Young to undergo neck surgery

Defensive end Chase Young, newly signed to a one-year, $13 million deal with the New Orleans Saints, will undergo neck surgery on Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported.

Recovery time is three to five months, which would make Young available for the start of the 2024 season, if he stays on schedule.

The Saints were aware of the issue, which is believed to stem from a stinger suffered in the 2023 preseason, and structured his contract accordingly, per the report.

Young is guaranteed to earn his $13 million in the event of a release. However, he will earn just over $5 million in base pay with a roster bonus of $470,000 per game, multiple outlets reported.

If he is active for all 17 games next season, he’d earn the additional $7.99 million on his contract.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by Washington, Young was dealt by the Commanders to the 49ers in exchange for a third-round draft pick last October. He played nine regular-season games for San Francisco, recording 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Young added 11 tackles in the 49ers’ playoff run, including a sack in the Super Bowl.

Young, 24, was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 after registering 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 15 games.

Still, his neck injury made it difficult to find a team willing to take the risk, per Sports Illustrated.

A torn right anterior cruciate ligament limited him to nine games in 2021 and three games in 2022. He bounced back to appear in seven games and start six times for Washington last year, producing 15 tackles and five sacks in those contests.

In 43 career NFL games (32 starts), Young has 100 tackles, 16.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

–Field Level Media

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) in the first half in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Saints land DE Chase Young, reportedly for 1 year, $13M

Defensive end Chase Young is headed to a third team in two years, signing with the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

According to multiple media reports, Young landed a one-year, $13 million deal, with the money fully guaranteed.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by Washington, Young was dealt by the Commanders to the 49ers in exchange for a third-round draft pick last October. He played nine regular-season games for San Francisco, recording 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Young added 11 tackles in the 49ers’ playoff run, including a sack in the Super Bowl.

Young, 24, was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 after registering 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 15 games.

A torn right anterior cruciate ligament limited him to nine games in 2021 and three games in 2022. He bounced back to appear in seven games and start six times for Washington last year, producing 15 tackles and five sacks in those contests.

In 43 career NFL games (32 starts), Young has 100 tackles, 16.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns, QB Jameis Winston agree to 1-year deal

The Cleveland Browns are signing veteran quarterback Jameis Winston to a one-year, $8.7 million contract, The Athletic reported Tuesday.

Winston was the No. 1 pick of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has spent his entire career in the NFC South with the Bucs (2015-19) and New Orleans Saints.

His signing means that Joe Flacco, who earned Comeback Player of the Year for leading the Browns to the postseason following the season-ending injury to Deshaun Watson, is unlikely to return to Cleveland.

Winston, 30, has appeared in 93 career games (80 starts) and has a 34-46 record — 28-42 with the Bucs and 6-4 with the Saints. He’s completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 22,104 yards with 141 touchdowns and 99 interceptions.

As a rusher, he has added 11 touchdowns and 1,214 yards on 298 carries.

In limited action in seven games as Derek Carr’s backup in New Orleans last season, Winston completed 25 passes for 264 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.

Also Tuesday, the Washington Commanders and quarterback Marcus Mariota reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Mariota was the No. 2 pick behind Winston in 2015.

–Field Level Media

Report: Saints, OLB Demario Davis rework contract

The New Orleans Saints and outside linebacker Demario Davis agreed to a reworked contract that gives the two-time Pro Bowl player a new two-year deal worth $17.25 million, ESPN reported Monday.

The new deal includes $13.25 fully guaranteed, per the report.

Davis, 35, figures to end his career in New Orleans, where he has spent the past six seasons. He had 6 1/2 sacks last season in 17 starts.

Davis has 42½ sacks in 194 career games (180 starts) with the New York Jets (2012-15; 2017), Cleveland Browns (2016) and Saints.

Davis has made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons and earned All-Pro honors in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints, S Tyrann Mathieu agree to two-year, $13M deal

Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu agreed to a two-year, $13 million deal to help ease the strained salary cap in New Orleans, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Mathieu had one year remaining on his contract at a $12 million cap charge before the Saints stretched the deal through the 2025 season.

Mathieu, 31, joined the Saints as a free agent on a three-year deal in 2022. He turns 32 on May 13.

The former LSU star and New Orleans native is a four-time All-Pro (three first-team selections) and started 34 games with 166 tackles and seven interceptions in two seasons with the Saints.

Mathieu won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. He also has played for the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans.

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Tony Brown (38) tackles New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints to release WR Michael Thomas

The New Orleans Saints will release wide receiver Michael Thomas prior to the start of the new league year next week, The Times-Picayune reported Thursday.

Thomas was in line to receive a base salary of $1.21 million this season with a roster bonus of $2.2 million. He carried a cap hit of just over $12.4 million, per Spotrac.

Thomas, 31, has spent his entire career with New Orleans since being selected by the Saints in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection recorded consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in his first four years in the league, culminating with 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019, when he was named Offensive Player of the Year.

Thomas has endured several injury-riddled seasons since catching an NFL record 149 passes in 2019. He has played in 20 games (15 starts) over the last four years, including missing the entire 2021 season due to an ankle injury.

Thomas had 39 catches for 448 yards with a touchdown in 10 games (seven starts) last season before landing on injured reserve due to an ailing knee.

–Field Level Media

The Saints began digging out of a salary cap deficit of nearly $75 million by adjusting quarterback Derek Carr's scheduled $30 million salary. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

All-32 view of salary cap: Commanders flush with cash, Bills bottom out

Washington leads the NFL with $96.4 million of salary-cap space two weeks before the start of free agency, while the Buffalo Bills are bailing water in cap hell with painful personnel decisions looming.

The Bills and Saints are among teams spared by a massive increase of more than $30 million per team from the 2023 cap limit, which was confirmed at $255.4 million per team for 2024 by the NFL on Friday. The cap counts the top 51 player contracts on the 53-man roster.

Spotrac projects the Commanders to lead the NFL in cap space at $96,443,548 million, but Washington has only 44 players under contract for next season and will owe approximately $35 million guaranteed on a four-year deal to the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft.

The Patriots stand close behind at $86 million with 53 players under contract. New England also has a significant draft pick pool to set aside with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft.

Tennessee ($85.2 million), Chicago ($82.9 million), Indianapolis ($74.4 million) and Cincinnati ($74.3 million) are in the top six in available cap space of February 23. But the Bears are likely to commit a significant chunk of change to pending free agent cornerback Jaylon Johnson, and big-ticket free agents are priorities for the Colts (wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.) and Bengals (wide receiver Tee Higgins). All three players are candidates for the franchise tag.

The Saints were bringing up the rear with a whopping $321 million committed to the 2024 roster, an excess of $74.7 million, until the NFL released the new cap figures on Friday.

Their ledger updates officially at 4 p.m. ET on Friday when moves are tabulated for accounting purposes by NFL protocol. That includes the Saints converting quarterback Derek Carr’s scheduled $30 million salary for next season to a bonus payment of more than $28.3 million.

Buffalo is $43.7 million over, and the Saints are now working to reduce their excess of $42 million.

The Dolphins are $24.6 million in the red. The Chargers are one spot ahead of Miami in available money but deep in negative because of an NFL-worst $24.5 million in “dead cap”

Here’s a rundown of salary cap available — spending committed to top 51 player contracts for 2024 minus $255.4 million limit — as of February 23 according to Spotrac:

1 Wash. Commanders $96,443,548
2 NE Patriots $86,806,052
3 Tennessee Titans $85,215,424
4 Chicago Bears $82,943,701
5 Indianapolis Colts $79,250,395
6 Cincinnati Bengals $74,279,511
7 Houston Texans $73,950,247
8 Detroit Lions $65,727,906
9 Arizona Cardinals $57,539,440
10 Las Vegas Raiders $55,476,342
11 Los Angeles Rams $52,345,058
12 TB Buccaneers $48,162,193
13 Carolina Panthers $42,870,624
14 Atlanta Falcons $41,992,153
15 Minnesota Vikings $40,968,007
16 New York Giants $38,916,449
17 Philadelphia Eagles $32,473,778
18 Jacksonville Jaguars $30,147,209
19 Kansas City Chiefs $28,279,105
20 New York Jets $20,462,303
21 Seattle Seahawks $16,105,973
22 Green Bay Packers $12,454,745
23 Baltimore Ravens $12,078,444
24 Pittsburgh Steelers $8,474,099
25 San Francisco 49ers $4,625,837
26 Dallas Cowboys -$3,228,985)
27 Cleveland Browns -$7,721,189)
28 Denver Broncos -$13,022,601)
29 LA Chargers -$20,833,735)
30 Miami Dolphins -$24,636,557)
31 New Orleans Saints -$38,842,847)
32 Buffalo Bills -$41,316,834)

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts to a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints begin annual cap-clearing with QB Derek Carr restructure

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr agreed to restructure his contract to convert more than $28 million of his scheduled $30 million salary to a bonus, creating sorely needed salary cap relief.

The details of the accounting were confirmed by Spotrac, which projected the Saints to be over the $246 million adjusted salary cap by more than $74 million before the conversion.

The annual salary-gap gymnastics are a matter of course in New Orleans, where it has become typical to reach the required maximum expenditure threshold with extensions and conversions before the NFL league year begins every March.

Carr, 32, signed a four-year, $150 million contract in March 2023 after he was released by the Las Vegas Raiders. His scheduled cap hit for 2024 before the restructure becomes official was $36 million and included a portion of his deferred signing bonus.

–Field Level Media