It sounds strange to say, much less type it out; Former Saints Defensive End Will Smith said he was not surprised by his release earlier in the week. “We understood the cap problems the Saints were going to have, and ultimately that’s what it came down to,” Smith said. The Saints saved $16 million dollars in salary cap room by releasing Smith, Roman Harper, and Jabari Greer.
Smith joined the Saints in 2004 as a first round pick out of Ohio State and had nothing but great things to say about the organization “It’s a great organization from top to bottom, it’s a place I really enjoyed playing.” Smith didn’t rule out the possibility of re-signing a deal later in the summer at a much cheaper price. “Sad to leave, but it’s exciting kind of moving on. I consider this my home, all of my friends are here, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Smith explained.
READ MORE: Kristian: Saints moves were the right ones
Eventually everyone in the NFL gets replaced, save for the owner of the team. Smith’s release wasn’t surprising to most engaged Saints fans. It was a necessary move for a team that looks to add to their already talented but young defense, and work out a long term deal with TE Jimmy Graham.
I don’t think the team is done making roster moves. Wide Recievers Marques Colston and Lance Moore could be asked to restructure their contracts, along with offensive linemen Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs. Quarterback Drew Brees carries a hefty $18.4 million dollar cap figure for 2014. Colston and Moore come in at $8.3 and $5.1 million respectively. Evans counts for a cool $11 million against the cap, and Grubbs cap figure for the upcoming season is $9.1 million.
Keep an eye on Broderick Bunkley’s status this off-season. Bunkley counts for $6.1 million against the cap, and the Saints already have an abundance of young talent along the defensive line at a much lower price tag (John Jenkins, Akiem Hicks, and Glenn Foster). The Saints will likely be in the market for another speedy wide receiver in free agency, along with upgrading the secondary at cornerback. Typically the Saints don’t make a huge splash in free agency by spending a lot of cash, but they love to find the ascending players that have their best football ahead of them at a great value. The Saints could also add a veteran at cornerback on a 1 year deal hoping to catch lightning in the bottle.