It’s part of a broader cap mess that, as explained by Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has the Saints staring at a potential cap crunch of $16 million when the 2013 league year begins in March.
Smith has a base salary of $10.5 million next year, and Vilma is due to earn $6 million.
Complicating matters is that the team-by-team cap isn’t expected to go up much, if at all, from its $120.6 million level in 2013. And if quarterback Drew Brees is looking for an explanation, he should look no farther than his own contract, with a cap number that increases from $10.4 million in 2012 to $17.4 million next year.
It’s almost enough to make a suspended head coach with an expiring contract think about exploring all his options before signing a new deal.