Janoris Jenkins Reportedly Will Be Released by Saints to Save $7M in Salary Cap

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) during an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints reportedly plan to release cornerback Janoris Jenkins, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.  

Jenkins started all 13 games he played for New Orleans last season, totaling 55 tackles with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in a Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 32-year-old was a major piece of the Saints pass defense that ranked fifth in the NFL last season.

Jenkins initially joined the Saints in December 2019 after being waived by the New York Giants, and he immediately contributed to his new team while starting the squad's playoff game that year. He signed a two-year extension last offseason but is now once again a free agent.

The move will save the Saints $7 million against the cap in 2021. Per Spotrac, New Orleans will still be left with $7.2 million in dead cap after the transaction.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided more details about the cap maneuver:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

More cap fun: Since Janoris Jenkins had a $1.2M fully guaranteed roster bonus, it would’ve accelerated upon being cut. So NO turned it into a signing bonus, spread it out over 2 years… and saved themselves an additional $600K against the cap #loomis https://t.co/LNEOk6Psan

The salary cap being lowered in 2021 hurt the Saints as much as any team in the NFL. They entered the offseason $54.4 million over the cap, per Katherine Terrell of The Athletic.

Field Yates of ESPN broke down how this has led to changes in the roster:

Field Yates @FieldYates

Saints departures this offseason so far include: QB Drew Brees (expected retirement), WR Emmanuel Sanders, CB Janoris Jenkins, TE Josh Hill, LB Kwon Alexander, P Thomas Morstead and OL Nick Easton Jameis Winston, Trey Hendrickson, Jared Cook and Sheldon Rankins are free agents.

New Orleans has been one of the most consistent teams in the league in recent years with at least 11 wins in four straight seasons. The squad was a legitimate Super Bowl contender last season while finishing 12-4 with a top-five scoring offense and scoring defense.

If the team wants to return to this level in 2021, it will have to overcome significant losses on both sides of the ball.