CB Jabari Greer, 30, has been signed to a new contract extension through 2015, when Greer will be 33. MLB Jonathan Vilma has restructured his current deal to spread out guaranteed money and lower his cap value for 2012.
The new years for Greer and cap-relief move for Vilma ostensibly clear up salary cap space as the Saints' tight situation got tighter as Drew Brees' franchise tag tender increased.
Greer was set to be a free agent after the 2012 season. Now the extension is worth a reported $23 million but without details so far.
A starter since he arrived in 2009, Greer fought through sports hernia and then shoulder injuries in his first two seasons, but started all 16 regular season games in 2011 and both playoff games. Greer recorded two interceptions against the Lions in the Saints' wildcard shootout victory. He is expected to start across from Patrick Robinson in his fourth season as a Saint.
Vilma is at the center of the Saints' bounty scandal and is expected to be suspended. However, by restructuring his deal, the Saints have tipped us off to two facts. The first is that they do not expect Vilma to be suspended for the entire season - if that were the case, his cap hit for 2012 would only include proration from previous years and not base salary or roster bonuses. And second, that the Saints do not plan to cut Vilma - who likely received new guaranteed money in the same tactic the Saints have used on previous contract restructures.
Brees' franchise tag tender increased after the signing period for restricted free agents expired, jumping from $14.4 million to an expected value over $16 million, which represents an average of the top players at his position.