There is no team in the NFL that faces more salary cap issues than the New Orleans Saints this year as free agency draw near.
That’s why the latest news regarding the Saints comes as such a surprise. New Orleans reportedly plans to use the franchise tag on star safety Marcus Williams.
So, why is that a surprise? Well, instead of letting Williams leave in free agency where he could get a bigger payday, New Orleans elected to take a significant cap hit heading into the 2021 season – which isn’t great for a cash-strapped team.
According to Over The Cap, the placing the franchise tag on Williams will cost the Saints over $11 million. For a team that currently sits well over the cap, that’s a bold choice.
Obviously general manage Mickey Loomis isn’t worried about getting the team into cap compliance as the 2021 season draws near.
Another surprise: The #Saints are putting the franchise on S Marcus Williams, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2021
Placing the franchise tag on Williams could just be a placeholder. With the tag applied, New Orleans can negotiate with Williams about a potential new contract all the way into the summer.
If they can agree to a new deal that lowers the cap hit heading into 2021, using the tag to make sure Williams doesn’t go anywhere will end up being a smart decision.