“They might not be part of the Saints’ future plans,” writes Triplett.
Not only are Smith, Vilma and Ellis bad fits for the defensive scheme, but they could also free up some extra space that the Saints could use to aid the transition. It’s worth noting that New Orleans is currently without a second-round pick in this year’s draft, so they’ll need to find some financial flexibility somehow.
Smith with make $10.15 million next season while Vilma has $6 million coming his way and is in the final year of contract. Ellis is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the next few months, so he’ll most likely be allowed to seek a new opportunity elsewhere.
The good news is that the Saints do have some solid young talent that could be better utilized in a 3-4 defense. Such players would include: DE Cam Jordan, DT Akiem Hicks, LBs Martez Wilson, David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio suggests that Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini could potential options to run their 3-4 defense next year.