Will the Saints Trade Marshon Lattimore? Explaining the Trade Rumors and CB’s Contract Situation

While Dennis Allen and Mickey Loomis say the Saints aren't planning to trade CB Marshon Lattimore, his contract structure tells a different story.

Will the New Orleans Saints consider trading cornerback Marshon Lattimore this offseason? Not if you listen to the club’s decision-makers.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Dennis Allen have spent the past several weeks maintaining that Lattimore will be a member of the organization in 2024.

However, New Orleans reworked Lattimore’s contract last season — and the Saints’ structure will only invite further speculation about a potential trade.

Why the Saints Could Trade CB Marshon Lattimore This Summer

The Saints gave Lattimore a five-year, $97 million extension in Sept. 2021 and have already reworked the contract three times to create additional cap space. In January 2024, New Orleans agreed to a unique contract structure with Lattimore that could allow the club to trade the veteran corner this summer.

Instead of converting Lattimore’s 2024 salary into a signing bonus (the typical NFL strategy), the Saints turned his salary into an option bonus. While the money still prorates on New Orleans’ cap, the option bonus will transfer to Lattimore’s next team if he’s traded.

If the Saints were to trade Lattimore before June 1, they would absorb $30+ million in dead money on their salary cap. Every dollar that’s been prorated on Lattimore’s deal would immediately accelerate onto the club’s books.

However, the NFL processes trades and releases after June 1 slightly differently. If New Orleans moves Lattimore on June 2 or later, it could spread his dead money over the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

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Lattimore’s guaranteed option bonus is worth $13.79 million and must be exercised before Week 1 of the 2024 regular season. If the Saints trade Lattimore after June 1 but before his option hits their salary cap, they would only take on between $10-$13 million in dead money.

Moving Lattimore could make sense for New Orleans, which just selected CB Kool-Aid McKinstry in Round 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft and also has corners Paulson Adebo and Alontae Taylor on the roster and needs long-term salary cap space.

In April, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Lattimore was on the trade block during free agency.

However, Allen said Tuesday that the Saints are “moving forward” with Lattimore, who is not expected at the club’s facility until minicamp later this summer.

“I just thought it was something we needed to communicate,” Allen said. “There’s been a lot of talk outside of our building about trades and things of that nature. I just felt like it was probably time that he and I had a conversation. It was a positive conversation and we’re looking forward to getting him out here when he’s here and working with him.”

Loomis has been a bit more evasive. Asked about Lattimore’s status before the draft, the Saints GM said, “Everybody is tradeable.”

After the draft, Loomis expanded on Lattimore’s situation.

“When a guy is a really good player for your team, they’re not on the market per se. But there are times when you get a call and somebody makes a proposal, and it might make sense for you,” Loomis said.

“That’s true for any player on your team. If you get an offer you can’t refuse, you at least have to look at it. So, that’s what I would say. I’m not actively trying to trade Marshon.

“Marshon is such a good player, he’s an elite corner. He’s had some injuries the last couple seasons that have kept him off the field, and we’ve got to get over that. It’s not his fault, it’s just circumstances. That’s just where we’re at.”

Where could Lattimore land? The Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings could be among the contenders interested in the veteran CB.

The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers also need corner help, but the Saints probably wouldn’t trade Lattimore within the NFC South.

KEEP READING: Everything You Need to Know About the Saints’ 2024 Schedule

Depending on how Lattimore’s next team handles his contract, it could roster the 28-year-old for less than $4 million in 2024. That’s an absolute bargain for a four-time Pro Bowler with Lattimore’s coverage skills.

Despite Allen and Loomis’ protestations, a Lattimore trade makes sense for the Saints — just don’t expect it to happen before June 1.

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