Saints exercise fifth-year option on Pro Bowl DE Cameron Jordan

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is pressured by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan in the first half of the Saints' 31-21 loss Sunday, November 25, 2012, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is pressured by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan in the first half of the Saints' 31-21 loss Sunday, November 25, 2012, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

As had been expected, the Saints exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of defensive end Cameron Jordan, who is coming off his first career Pro Bowl appearance, the NFL Players Association website revealed Monday.

The 6-foot-4, 287-pound Jordan will earn a base salary of about $6.97 million in 2015 as a result of the fifth-year option.

The deal he signed as a rookie first-round draft pick in 2011 was for four seasons but, under the collective bargaining agreement adopted that year, enabled the Saints to exercise a team option to keep him under contract for a fifth season.

Jordan’s base salary in 2015 will be about $5.9 million more than what it was in 2013 and $5.53 million more than what it’s supposed to be in 2014.

The Saints have until May 3 to exercise a fifth-year option on the contract of rookie running back Mark Ingram, another of New Orleans’ first-round draft picks in 2011.

The NFLPA site Monday did not show that a fifth-year option had been exercised on Ingram’s deal, which would reportedly cost New Orleans about $5.21 million in 2015.

Monday’s news about Jordan was widely anticipated. He was the lone Pro Bowler on a defense that surrendered the fourth-fewest yards per game in the NFL and was ranked second against the pass in 2013, its first year under coordinator Rob Ryan.

Jordan, who will turn 25 in July, led the Saints with 12.5 sacks in the regular season, fifth most in the NFL and second in the NFC.

His two forced fumbles were tied for tops on his team, and he had two fumble recoveries.

Jordan added another 2.5 sacks in the playoffs as the Saints (12-6) won a road postseason game for the first time in franchise history and reached the divisional round.

Judging from Twitter, Jordan intended to join his teammates in voluntary workouts on the first day of the Saints’ offseason conditioning program, which began Monday.

But he then tweeted a photo that showed the driver’s side window of his car had been broken into, accompanied with the words, “Shoulda been workin out this mornin but I come down and jus had to deal with this...Guess day one workouts r on my own.”

In three regular seasons with the Saints, Jordan has racked up 21.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 159 tackles (99 solo).

Present!

This list is by no means exhaustive, but the following players indicated on Twitter that they participated in voluntary workouts Monday: running back Pierre Thomas, outside linebacker Junior Galette, inside linebacker Curtis Lofton, safety Rafael Bush, left tackle Terron Armstead, defensive end Glenn Foster, punter Thomas Morstead, tight end Benjamin Watson and cornerback Derrius Brooks. The workouts were closed to the public and are part of the offseason program’s first phase, which lasts two weeks and can consist of only strength work, conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

It wasn’t confirmed if safety Jairus Byrd, acquired in free agency, showed up Monday. But he has said he’s been in communication with teammates as well as Ryan and was excited about getting to work.

It’s not expected Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will participate in offseason workouts until he either signs a one-year franchise tag he was given in February or a new long-term contract. Neither had occurred Monday. July 15 is the deadline for the Saints and Graham to hammer out a long-term deal this year.

Cap space update

The one-year deal wide receiver Robert Meachem signed late last week to return to the Saints went on the books Monday, and the team was about $3.45 million under the 2014 salary cap.