The Saints will see the $13.5 million in dead money that the Patriots will carry for Tom Brady in 2020 and raise it by $7.8 million.
Tom Curran’s story of the dead money attached to Tom Brady’s soon-to-be-voiding contract conjured memories of the cap mess to be created by Drew Brees in New Orleans. As explained last March, a restructuring that dropped his cap number for 2019 from $33.5 million to $22.7 million pushed the total for 2020 to be carried in Brees’ name to $21.3 million, whether he’s on the team or not.
And if he’s on the team, a new contract will have to both pay Brees and account for the dead money.
The Saints have been down this road before. Two years ago, Brees had $18 million in dead money that needed to be engineered via his new deal. Eventually, Brees signed a two-year, $50 million deal to stay with the Saints.
Regardless of what happens next, the Saints at some point will have to bite the Brees bullet when he makes his exit, taking the cap charge for millions previously paid to Brees. Fortunately for the Saints, the cap keeps going up and up and up, and it could skyrocket if/when the league and the NFL Players Association reach a new labor deal, followed by a new round of TV contracts.