Smith, 32, is currently sitting out the season after having been placed on the injured reserve with a torn ACL he suffered during the team’s third preseason game.
Before the start of the season, there were rumors that the Saints would release the ten-year veteran due to the fact that they were making a transition to Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense. Smith had played defensive end in 4-3 in years prior, so there are some obvious concerns regarding how he was going to make the transition.
According to Corry’s figures, the Saints are expected to be nearly $17 million over the cap next season, which will bring guys like Smith and his $10.4 million salary into focus. The Saints could free up $11.55 million in cap space by just releasing Smith.
This will be a very important offseason for the Saints as their star TE Jimmy Graham is set to become a unrestricted free agent and although they could use their franchise tag on him, Graham could very well raise the bar beyond the tight end figure based on the number of times he has lined up as a wide receiver. The Saints will really need the extra cap space to feel comfortable about their situation.