Metairie, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Saints are parting ways
with four veteran players from their defense.
The team announced on Wednesday that they have terminated the contracts of
cornerback Jabari Greer, safety Roman Harper and defensive end/linebacker Will
Smith. In addition, the club will not re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
All four players were part of the 2009 Super Bowl squad.
"I would like to thank Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan for their
contributions on and off the field for the New Orleans Saints over the past
several years," said Saints owner Tom Benson in a statement. "All four of them
played important roles in the success of our club and were great players and
teammates. In addition, all of them made a significant impact in our
community, especially with our youth and helping serve the less fortunate. On
behalf of our organization and our fans, we appreciate everything that they
have done for us and wish them continued success."
Before Wednesday, the Saints were at least $12 million over the projected 2014
salary cap of $126 million.
The 32-year-old Smith missed the entire 2013 season with an ACL tear. Selected
by the Saints with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2004 draft, Smith recorded
457 tackles, 67 1/2 sacks and two interceptions in 139 career games (120
starts) with New Orleans.
Harper, 31, was selected by the Saints in the second round of the 2006 draft.
He started 104 of 108 games with New Orleans and ended his career with 654
tackles, 17 sacks, seven interceptions, 15 forced fumbles and three fumble
Vilma was originally selected by the New York Jets in the first round of the
2004 NFL Draft. He was acquired by the Saints in a trade in the 2008 offseason
and spent the next six seasons with New Orleans.
In 125 career games (121 starts), Vilma has 871 tackles, 10 1/2 sacks, 12
interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He was limited to
just one game in 2013 due to injuries.
Greer was signed by New Orleans as a free agent in 2009 after spending his
first five seasons with the Buffalo Bills. In 133 career games, he recorded
413 tackles, two sacks and 13 interceptions.
In 2013, Greer started the first 10 games before suffering a knee injury vs.
San Francisco on Nov. 17.
The Sports Network