The New Orleans Saints have been notorious for their management of cap space over the years, but it appears the team may have pulled yet another proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

According to a report by Field Yates, the Saints have restructured defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd's contract, freeing up a little over $3 million in cap space in 2024.

“Between Sheperd [sic], (quarterback) Derek Carr and (offensive lineman) Erik McCoy, New Orleans has created ~$33M in cap space this week, with the resources to soon become cap compliant and create enough space to be spenders in free agency if they so desire,” Yates said.

The Saints tried with all their might to win a second Super Bowl with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in the 2010s, surrounding him with offensive talent and bolstering the defense as best as they could. Those efforts cost the team a lot of money, quite of bit of which was stretched over multiple years. Numerous dead cap hits should have strangled the team and forced a complete overhaul of the roster to relieve some of the cap worries, but New Orleans has instead handed Carr a four-year, $150 million deal last offseason.

Carr's now-restructured contract calls for decreasing dead cap figures with each passing year; the dead cap was $60 million in 2023, and it will be $52.8 million this season, $40.1 million in 2025, $28.7 million in 2026, and $17.2 million in 2027.

Whether the Saints should be kicking the can down the road has been a question for several years. The team missed the playoffs for the third straight season in 2023, finishing second in the NFC South with a 9-8 record in Dennis Allen's second year as head coach.