A few of those tough calls could be bad news for defensive end Will Smith and safety Roman Harper, both veterans making a nice chunk of change. Smith is scheduled to make a whopping $13.9 million next season, the last year of his current deal. Of that number, $10.4 million is in base salary.
Harper is another probable cap casualty. The 2006 second round pick is on the books for $5.8 million this season and another $4.4 million the following campaign. Cutting the pair would save the Saints around $13 million, getting them right near the cap threshold.
New Orleans needs to create space to re-sign tight end Jimmy Graham, who hits the market as a restricted free agent this offseason. One option could be quarterback Drew Brees restructuring his deal, which has him making $18.4 million next season, before earning $26.4 million and $27.4 million over the next two years.