The Saints have restructured the contracts of starting CB Patrick Robinson and key WR Lance Moore, clearing up nearly $2.3 million in cap space, according to ESPN.
It was these deals that allowed the Saints to recently sign LB Chris Chamberlain and LB Curtis Lofton.
Moore's contract change is similar to moves the club on the contracts of DE Will Smith and RG Jahri Evans - reducing the 2012 base salary to the minimum and converting the balance to a guaranteed bonus. For salary cap purposes, the bonus is then prorated over the remaining four years of Moore's contract. Moore's 2011 contract was a five-year, $20 million deal with $7 million total guaranteed.
For Robinson, the Saints converted a $1.267 roster bonus to an immediate signing bonus, spreading the cap hit out over the remaining three years of Robinson's rookie contract. The original contract was five years for $12 million when Robinson was the final pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The Saints reclaimed $1.4 million in cap space from Moore and $840,000 in cap space from Robinson.
The contract moves push more guaranteed money into the contracts, making it tougher for the Saints to cut these players. This is why players the team trusts to have long-term success are getting their deals restructured.