Pat Yasinskas of ESPN writes that Saints could look to free up some much needed cap space by addressing the contracts of veterans like DB Roman Harper, LB Jonathan Vilma and DL Will Smith in the coming weeks.
Harper, 30, is due $5.35 million next season, but his overall production has dropped off considerably as of late. Pro Football Focus actually has him rated as the second worst qualifying safety from last season.
Vilma, 30, has a $4.8 million base salary to go along with a $1.1 million roster bonus. There’s been some talk that he could moved to outside linebacker in their new 3-4 defense, even though it seems a little strange given his skill set. Reducing his salary figures to be the only sure way he’ll be back in New Orleans next season.
Smith, 31, is almost certain to be gone. He has base salaries of $9 million and $10.4 million along with $1 million roster bonuses coming his way the next two seasons. His 2014 salary is voidable, but it’s doubtful he sees any of this 2013 salary given that he’s poor fit in their new defensive scheme.
New Orleans needs to free up close to $20 million and these three players figure to be some of the first contracts addressed in the process of doing so.