Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith didn’t cooperate with the league’s bounty investigation last offseason, but they did restructure their contracts to help the Saints out on the salary cap front.
We’ll find out soon if they’re willing to do it again. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Saints will ask both players to restructure their contracts to help the team find its way to a more robust cap situation.
Smith is set to make $9 million with a cap figure of $14.5 million while Vilma has a $4.8 million salary to go with an $8.6 million cap figure. Those numbers make it easy to understand why the Saints would like the players to join linebacker Curtis Lofton in the ranks of defenders with restructured deals, although we’re sure one or two commenters will still point out that Drew Brees demands an explanation.
With the Saints switching defenses to the 3-4 this year, there’s been some question about how well the two players would fit in the new system. Coach Sean Payton has already outlined where he thinks Vilma will fit and the desire to restructure Smith’s deal also indicates the team thinks he’ll be able to transition to a new role in Rob Ryan’s scheme.