Payton sees Vilma, Harper, Smith staying, but . . . .


With the Saints trying to clean up a cap mess, they may have to part ways with some players who have been a big part of the team’s recent success.

For now, coach Sean Payton doesn’t think he’ll be without linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, or safety Roman Harper in 2013.  But Payton adds an important caveat.

“First off, I do envision those guys in a Saints uniform, and yet I’m also realistic and understand that every year since the beginning of free agency the percentage of players on your roster that turns over is different than it used to be,” Payton told WWL-AM on Tuesday, via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  “There was a time where you had your draft.  What two or three rookies were going to beat out the veterans on a roster?

“It’s different now.  There’s an economic factor to it. It’s as simple as a household budget.  If you’re going to have cable and you’re going to have heat, you might not be able to have something else.  So you’ve really got to look closely at your production, you’ve got to look closely at your cap.”

The Saints have restructured several contracts.  But they’re still slightly over the cap — and they’ll need to create more space if they want to sign any of their free agents or anyone else’s.

For Vilma, Smith, and Harper, the cap space will come from revised deals that entail the players making less money or, if they won’t agree to the requested pay cuts, terminated contracts.

8 responses to “Payton sees Vilma, Harper, Smith staying, but . . . .

  1. The Saints should start looking at QBs to draft to learn under drew brees. The defense also needs to get younger, quicker, more explosive, and have more heart. The pats did that last year with their first 7 picks and it showed on the field with the energy and excitement shown.

  2. You must keep some veterans to help train these younger players come into the league. Sean Payton knows his job he must keep some veterans players until the youngsters knows how the system goes.

  3. He is a great run stopper. Hell he is up in top 3 as far as sacks among active safety’s. he just sucks and I mean sucks at defending the pass. I often wonder if he could move to LB?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.