The New Orleans Saints’ purge continues as the club works to get under the salary cap.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday the Saints have informed Janoris Jenkins they are releasing him, per a source informed of the situation. The team later announced the termination of Jenkins’ contract.
The cornerback was due $11.2 million this year with a cap hit of $14.2 million, scheduled to be the fourth-highest on the club. The move saves the Saints $7 million on the salary cap with $7.2 million in dead money, per Over The Cap.
Jenkins was owed a $1.2 million fully guaranteed roster bonus. Before releasing him, the Saints turned it into a signing bonus and spread it out over two years, saving them an additional $600,000 against the cap, per Rapoport.
The starting corner is the latest release in a near-daily transactional process as the Saints move to get under the $182.5 million salary cap.
Cutting Jenkins is the most significant blow to the Saints’ core yet.
After joining the Saints in 2019 following fallout in New York, Jenkins started 13 games in 2020 and was a key member of a shutdown secondary. The 32-year-old proved to be an ideal complement to Marshon Lattimore, giving Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen the ability to roll coverages or bring pressure without worrying about his outside corners.
While many of the Saints’ cuts thus far haven’t left big holes, cutting Jenkins creates a sizable aperture in New Orleans’ defense. It’s a hole that won’t be so easily plugged as other losses. Finding a starting corner of Jenkins’ caliber usually doesn’t come cheap.
The latest cap casualty still leaves the Saints above the salary cap threshold. Other moves will be coming down the pike — in the form of cuts, restructures or extensions — ahead of the new league year, which opens on March 17.