Saints releasing WR Emmanuel Sanders, LB Kwon Alexander, clearing more cap space

With the salary cap now set, the Saints have begun their aggressive roster trimming, sending two notable names out of town.

New Orleans is releasing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the decision. The Saints are also expected to release linebacker Kwon Alexander in the coming days, Rapoport reported.

The releases will save the cap space-needy Saints more than $19 million, and Alexander's release doesn't include any dead money (Sanders' departure will account for $4 million in dead cap).

Sanders has become somewhat of a roving mercenary in the last two seasons, being traded from Denver (where he'd spent six seasons) to San Francisco in time to make a Super Bowl run in 2019, then signing with New Orleans to follow a similar pursuit of the Lombardi Trophy in 2020. He's been a solid contributor in both instances, and though he's 33 years old, he can bring value to a team looking for a veteran at the position.

Alexander arrived in New Orleans via midseason trade, coming from the San Francisco 49ers in a deal that sent Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round pick west in November. The linebacker's arrival appeared to be a savvy addition for a Super Bowl contender, but he never made it to the most important stretch of the season due to an Achilles injury. Alexander played in seven regular-season games, recording 27 tackles, four passes defensed and one forced fumble, and his last snap came in Week 16.

He's still recovering from the torn Achilles, but is expected to be back in time for training camp, per Rapoport. Sanders, meanwhile, is saying his goodbyes and looking for his next destination.

With the flurry from Mickey Loomis' office seemingly not slowing anytime soon, the Saints also announced they agreed to terms with running back Dwayne Washington.

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