This may not be a popular thing to say, but it is time for the New Orleans Saints and defensive end Will Smith to part ways.
All NFL teams must be under the $123 million salary cap by the beginning of the new league year. The new league year starts March 12th.
The Saints are still $6.6 million over the new cap and Will Smith’s contract is valued at $10.15 million. The Saints still want to bring back middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma even if Smith agreed to a restructured contract.
If the Saints lets Smith walk, they can at least get under the $123 salary cap number without losing too much skill on the defensive line. They have guys like Akiem Hicks, Greg Romeus, and Turk McBride that could produce results on the line in his absence.
One of those defensive lineman, Junior Galette, was recently re-signed to a three year contract. He will be moving to outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
Galette only started once last season and produced a career high five sacks and 22 tackles for the Saints. The 6-foot-2, 258-pound product out of Stillman College is a very athletic pass-rusher so the move makes sense.
Jonathan Vilma is still not out of the woods yet. He needs to quickly get with the Saints and accept a restructured deal if he wants to stay with the team. There is still a place for him in the Saints linebacking corps. Despite some saying he has lost a step, he is still an effective player on the field.