The New Orleans Saints’ roster is going to look very different in 2021. That’s just a fact; with changes coming in every phase of the game, upheaval is coming for almost every position group. Drew Brees is poised for retirement, while Thomas Morstead is in peril after his worst year as a pro. Defensive starters like Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, and Alex Anzalone are headed for free agency.
So we should expect the Saints to bring in plenty of new faces. Salary cap commitments will be a consideration, as always, and almost everyone could come up in trade talks with other teams.
But there is a handful of players who should be untouchable due to their contract status. For this group, it would cost the Saints more to trade or release them than it will to keep them around — the math doesn’t check out on moving them for the sake of saving cap space.
You’ll usually see the salary cap hits for players not on the roster anymore referred to as “dead money,” but for illustrative purposes I’ll avoid doing that here. Let’s do a quick review, with all contract numbers via OverTheCap.com: