The New Orleans Saints are trying desperately to get under the salary cap before the deadline in mid-March, and they accomplished a little of that on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, by releasing two veterans. New Orleans released tight end David Thomas and waived cornerback, and former third-round pick, Johnny Patrick.
Thomas had become the number two tight end for the Saints behind starter Jimmy Graham in recent years. He caught only 11 passes for 86 yards and four touchdowns during the 2012 season. Thomas would have been in the final year of his contract in 2013 and was scheduled to have a base salary of $1.5 million. His cap number was $2.2 million.
"David has been important part of our team since the day he arrived here immediately after the 2009 preseason and we appreciate everything he did for us these last four seasons," Saints Coach Sean Payton said in a statement. "With his dependability, intelligence and work ethic, he was someone our players and coaches could always rely on. On the field, he would set a physical tone and his versatility proved to be a great asset for us."
Michael Higgins and Graham are now the only two tight ends on the Saints' roster.
Johnny Patrick was only set to make $555,000 in 2013 and count for $740,000 against the salary cap. He was a third-round pick in the 2011 draft for the Saints, but just could never get over the hump and prove himself.
With a larger number of cornerbacks already on the roster, Patrick getting waived is not a huge surprise.
The Saints have recently asked linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith to restructure their contracts so that help could be given to the salary cap. The two veterans are in danger of being released if they don't agree.
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