Will Smith LB NO 4 Months
Saints DE/OLB Will Smith is out for the season with a knee injury.
Attempting to remodel their defense under Rob Ryan, the Saints have now lost OLBs Smith and Victor Butler, and LE Kenyon Coleman to year-ending injuries. Smith's loss is probably the least devastating of those three, but is a reminder of how badly the team will struggle to generate pass rush no matter how well Smith "schemes." They don't have depth or talent. Look for Junior Galette and Martez Wilson to open the season as Ryan's starting 3-4 outside 'backers.
Will Smith LB NO 5 Months
Saints OLB Will Smith is down to 268 pounds in preparation for his switch from base 4-3 end to 3-4 stand-up edge rusher.
Smith, 32, is listed at 6-foot-3, 282 on the Saints' official website, so he's shed a decent amount of weight. We're still skeptical that he makes the 53-man roster, especially if both Junior Galette and Martez Wilson have solid summers. Smith is due a $3 million base salary after taking a March pay cut.
Will Smith LB NO 5 Months
SportsNOLA.com considers OLB Will Smith on the roster bubble.
Smith took a $6 million pay cut this offseason, but is still due a $3 million base salary in 2013 and will be asked to convert to outside linebacker in DC Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme. He remains a strong candidate for release if one of Junior Galette or Martez Wilson can overtake him for a starting job in training camp.
Will Smith LB NO 7 Months
Will Smith was running with the Saints' first-team defense at outside linebacker in OTAs this week.
Smith and Martez Wilson were with the ones, while Junior Galette and Victor Butler were with the twos. As we pointed out days ago, this attempt by the Saints to move 6-foot-3, 282-pound Smith to stand-up edge rusher is quite comical. Galette and Butler are younger and much more talented at this stage of their respective careers. Smith, due $3 million, is a candidate to be released.
Will Smith LB NO 9 Months
Saints DE Will Smith took a $6 million pay cut to stay with the team.
His base salary was chopped from $9 million to $3 million. Smith essentially now has a two-year, $14.4 million contract, though in 2014 his salary skyrockets to $10.4 million. Smith will be 33 then, so 2013 will almost certainly be his last season in New Orleans. Smith's pass-rush ability has evaporated.
Will Smith LB NO 10 Months
As expected, the Saints have asked DE Will Smith to accept a "big pay reduction" in salary for 2013.
Smith is owed $10.15 million in including salary and bonuses. The Saints might not take him back at half of that price. New Orleans is transitioning to a 3-4 defense, and Smith has been a base 4-3 end his entire career. In all likelihood, Smith is going to be released, saving the Saints salary cap space.
Will Smith LB NO 11 Months
The New Orleans Times-Picayune considers DE Will Smith and LB Jonathan Vilma poor fits for the Saints' new 3-4 defense.
"They might not be part of the Saints' future plans," writes Mike Triplett. Smith and Vilma are almost certain to be cap casualties this offseason. Their diminishing skills couple with their inflated salaries is the perfect recipe for release. Smith is due $10.15 million in total for 2013, while Vilma is set to earn $6 million in the final year of his deal.
Will Smith LB NO 12 Months
The New Orleans Times-Picayune considers Saints DE Will Smith and LB Jonathan Vilma both likely to be released in the offseason unless they are amenable to "substantial pay cuts."
Both players are on the wrong side of 30, and due a combined $15.9 million in 2013. Vilma has made little impact as he's played through New Orleans' never-ending bounty drama, while Smith has graded out as one of the worst 4-3 ends in the league in Pro Football Focus' ratings. If either is back with the Saints in 2013, it will be at a substantially-reduced salary.
Will Smith LB NO Sep 12 '12
CBS' Jason La Canfora reports all four suspended players from the Saints' bounty case will meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.
Saints RE Will Smith, Browns SLB Scott Fujita, free agent DT Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma might finally learn their ultimate fate after their suspensions were temporarily overturned on appeal last Friday. A settlement that includes reduced bans for all four players may be the most likely outcome.