People in Rome are waiting to see a puff of white smoke from the Vatican, but people in New Orleans have been waiting much longer to find out whether or not defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be sticking with the Saints.
The answer has finally arrived. Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that both players have agreed to restructure their contracts to help the Saints drop under the salary cap and give themselves a future with the team.
How they’ll fit in the new 3-4 defense run by Rob Ryan remains to be seen as does just how much cap relief the Saints gained in the restructures. There are no figures known at this point, but Smith had a cap figure of $14.5 million and Vilma’s was $8.6 million. There’s plenty of fat to trim with both numbers so the Saints should be in position to start shopping for new additions now.
There’s no word yet on safety Roman Harper, who was also seen as a candidate to restructure his deal with the Saints.