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Report: Saints want Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith to restructure contracts

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

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.

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11 Responses to “Report: Saints want Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith to restructure contracts”
  1. dexterismyhero says: Feb 18, 2013 10:24 AM

    Drew who?

    7-9 and still crying about getting caught lying!!!!

  2. bigbadal21 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:25 AM

    Was Vilma restructured last year to help his team or was he restructured to lessen the money lost if he was banned from playing last year? By having his contract redone last year it was the difference of losing thousands instead of millions if suspended. I believe it was the Saints way of keeping Vilma mute about whatever the hell did happen.

  3. jnbnet says: Feb 18, 2013 10:48 AM

    Don’t piss Vilma off, he’ll turn around and spew about the bounty system.

  4. cags777 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:53 AM

    At this point, it’s best the Saints cut their ties. They’re too expensive and have lost a few steps since the 2009 season.

  5. tincansailor981 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:58 AM

    Speaking of Drew Brees demanding an explanation, please explain why he can’t restructure his deal to free up some cap room

  6. thrillheaux says: Feb 18, 2013 11:47 AM

    Lofton just converted a roster bonus into a signing bonus to push his cap hits further down the line. Brees will likely be asked to do the same with his base salary (like Brady did last season). Neither case involves the player taking less money, nor are they being paid at a later date (signing bonus is paid up front). The Smith and Vilma “restructures” certainly will involve pay cuts as neither is worth close to what they’re making.

  7. thejuddstir says: Feb 18, 2013 12:14 PM

    If anyone thinks Vilma still has the skills to be a starting LB, then they shouldn’t complain about the saints league worst ranking as a defense. Vilma will get cut and he will file another lawsuit blaming Goodell for the reason he got cut. I have said since the beginning of bountygate and Vilma’s lies that the day will come when he will truely regret his actions as it has become his legacy. Vilma apparently never heard the saying that it is better to lose a battle than to lose the war. I think in addition to his diminished skills, the saints want to move forward and put the haunts of bountygate behind them and that will be another contributing factor in Vilma’s release but Payton and the saints will never admit that in public. You lost the war Mr. Vilma!!

  8. vegasvinnie says: Feb 18, 2013 2:41 PM

    thejuddstir says:
    Feb 18, 2013 12:14 PM
    If anyone thinks Vilma still has the skills to be a starting LB, then they shouldn’t complain about the saints league worst ranking as a defense. Vilma will get cut and he will file another lawsuit blaming Goodell for the reason he got cut. I have said since the beginning of bountygate and Vilma’s lies that the day will come when he will truely regret his actions as it has become his legacy. Vilma apparently never heard the saying that it is better to lose a battle than to lose the war. I think in addition to his diminished skills, the saints want to move forward and put the haunts of bountygate behind them and that will be another contributing factor in Vilma’s release but Payton and the saints will never admit that in public. You lost the war Mr. Vilma!!
    ==================================

    He stood up to Goodell and got his predecessor to admit that the NFL’s evidence was faulty and that his suspension was lifted.

    Please explain to me exactly how this is losing.

  9. cags777 says: Feb 18, 2013 6:09 PM

    vegasvinnie – While Paul Tagliabue may have vacated the suspensions of Jonathan Vilma, he did say and prove that the Saints held a bounty program. The only thing Roger Goodell didn’t do was a good enough investigation and didn’t get cooperation from players, who already hate him because of his hard-nosed ways. Also, Vilma couldn’t prove that Goodell defamed him. How exactly is he still winning?

  10. Dave61548 says: Feb 18, 2013 9:21 PM

    cags777 – Tagliabue did not “prove” anything about the Saints alleged bounty system. What he said was he did not review the evidence, but there was enough of it to make it clear Goodell was correct. Then after saying Goodel was right, he turned right around and vacated the player punishments. What Taliabue truly said by his actions was that there was zero evidence to support the NFL’s claims, so to cover Goodell’s butt he would not review the evidence himself. If he had done so he would have been forced to either lie or call the NFL story bogus.

  11. robertallen1958 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:57 PM

    well there is going to be a lot of restructuring contracts as long as Brees is demanding the money he is getting, they won’t be able to get any decent free agents or keep good players, just a bunch of draft picks playing on rookie contracts, so when the Saints start to really suck just look at Drew Brees, one of the most selfish players in sports, he doesn’t care about winning or his team mates he is all about himself and the rest of the team is going to hate him before long, watch and see, especially if they can’t keep players and continue to lose! thanks Drew

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