The New Orleans Saints and running back Deuce McAllister, according to Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune, have mutually agreed to postpone, for the short-term, his $1 million roster bonus from March 15 to April 15, allowing the team a better shot to gauge McAllister’s health before any further financial decisions are made. McAllister is recovering nicely from surgery on both of his knees which took place last September; he fully expects to be ready by the team’s summer mini-camp in June, but he was agreeable to the postponement of the bonus because it allows him to prove to the Saints that he was worth the investment in him.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis wouldn’t elaborate on the decision, but said that there isn’t much to read into the decision and that both sides agreed to the postponement; the team may still ask McAllister to take a pay cut, but because McAllister is coming along well in his rehab, he may have a bargaining chip to work with. As far as his rehab is comcerned, McAllister is jogging and some light running and agility drills, but McAllister said he hasn’t been cleared to do any hard cutting or planting as of yet.
The recovery from the microfracture surgery he had done to his knee is expected to take around 6 months or so; the financial decision should take place within the next month or so. The Saints aren’t expected to release McAllister – if they did, that would be bone-headed – but they at the same time want to perhaps convert some of McAllister’s salary into incentive clauses, in order to provide some salary cap relief. Speaking of which, the team is $20 million or so under the cap, but they have decisions to make about the retention of wide receiver Marques Colston, defensive end Will Smith and guard Jahri Evans; there’s also the draft to consider, as well. I expect McAllister and the Saints to come to a decision relatively soon – with the team retaining McAllister, albeit at a lower price tag.