November 5, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) celebrates with strong safety Roman Harper (41) after a turnover during the second half of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Easgles 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
We knew this was coming, but we weren’t sure as to who would be out. New Orleans Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, announced recently that the Saints were parting ways with several veterans.
Cornerback Jabari Greer (32), defensive end/linebacker Will Smith (32), and safety Roman Harper (31) were released today. The team also stated that they will not re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma (31).
"“I would like to thank Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan for their contributions on and off the field for the New Orleans Saints over the past several years,” said Saints Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson. “All four of them played important roles in the success of our club and were great players and teammates. In addition, all of them made a significant impact in our community, especially with our youth and helping serve the less fortunate. On behalf of our organization and our fans, we appreciate everything that they have done for us and wish them continued success.”“These were not easy decisions to make,” said Loomis. “Since we acquired them, Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan have all been excellent players on the field for us. Each of them were integral parts in turning this program around and winning a Super Bowl. They were a great example to our players as team leaders in the locker room as well. Will and Roman were two of the better draft picks we have made. Jonathan Vilma has been one of our best trades ever and Jabari Greer has been one of our best free agent signings. These are the kinds of players and people you hope to acquire. However, a new NFL year is about to begin and, with the start of free agency in March, these difficult moves allow us to position our team under the salary cap to move forward for 2014.” -Mickey Loomis"
Individually, Will Smith will save the Saints $11.55M, Roman Harper $2.15M, and Jabari Greer $3.175M. In total, these moves saved the Saints roughly $17M.
While each of these player’s futures may be in question, they will never be forgotten for their contributions to the team over the years.
Stay tuned, and we’ll bring you the latest as it unfolds!
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