Saints latest cap casualties: TE David Thomas, CB Johnny Patrick
The New Orleans Saints started the offseason in one of the worst cap situations, expected to be over $20 million in the red. Although David Thomas was scheduled to make $1.5 million in base salary this year, including a $200,000 roster bonus, he counted $2.2 million against the cap. The decision over Johnny Patrick was more on the basis of talent than financial reasons. Johnny Patrick was scheduled to make $555,000 million this year, but counted $740,000 against the cap. The moves save the New Orleans Saints $2.9 million against the 2013 salary cap, estimated over $122 million.
The 6-foot-3, 248-pound David Thomas arrived in New Orleans via a trade between the Saints and New England Patriots in 2009. David Thomas had a successful four-year stint with the New Orleans Saints, playing up his versatility, which allowed the 29-year-old to fill in at several spots, including fullback.
"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," said New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton in a prepared statement on Tuesday. "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."
Mickey Loomis acknowledged that the decision to release the seven-year pro David Thomas was an "extremely difficult" move for the team, which greatly benefited from his veteran presence and leadership.
"Since he came here in 2009, he's been an important part of our team,” said Mickey Loomis, “both with his performance on the field and with the outstanding veteran leadership he's provided for us."
Although David Thomas missed much of the 2011 season due to concussions, he returned in 2012 to play 15 games, while finishing with 11 receptions for 86 yards and four touchdowns. In 48 career games with the New Orleans Saints, David Thomas made 81 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns.
The move leaves means Michael Higgins and veteran Jimmy Graham are the only tight ends remaining on the New Orleans Saints’ roster.
Johnny Patrick was selected in the third-round by the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 draft. The 24-year-old Johnny Patrick fell down on the New Orleans Saints’ depth chart during the 2012 training camp, and struggled in the secondary whenever he played on field last season. The 5-11, 191-pound Johnny Patrick had 24 career appearances with one start while registering 29 tackles on defense and six on special teams in the last two seasons.
Jabari Greer, A.J. Davis, Ryan Steed, Corey White and Dion Turner are the remaining cornerbacks on the New Orleans Saints’ roster, while Elbert Mack is ste to become a free agent this summer.