Veteran offensive lineman Jahri Evans was unceremoniously released by the New Orleans Saints earlier this week. It has since come to light that the Saints tried to keep him on the roster at a reduced rate, but Evans refused to take a pay cut.
Evans’ agent, Jerrold Colton, said his client turned down the opportunity to stay with the Saints because he had already taken a pay cut the year before.
Via ESPN Radio’s Matt Moscona:
Jahri Evans' agent on @SportsRadioWIP says Saints asked Evans to take a pay cut to stay in NO but wasn't going to do it 2 yrs in a row
Evans, a four-time first-team All-Pro, originally signed a seven-year, $56.7 million deal that made him the highest-paid interior offensive lineman in NFL history. The Saints extended that contract by a year last April, creating $4 million in savings for 2015. The standout guard was supposed to count $8.2 million against the cap this year, according to Evan Woodberry of NOLA.com, and the team saved $3.1 million by cutting him.
Although ankle and knee injuries limited him to 11 games last season, Evans is still a talented player. Even at 32 years old, he should draw some interest on the open market as an unrestricted free agent.