The 2014 NFL season is actually close to beginning, and that means teams are going to start releasing players that just aren't making the cut for their money. As of Feb. 12, 2014, reports started coming out that the New Orleans Saints could end doing just that with veteran linebacker/defensive end Will Smith and safety Roman Harper.
This is not totally unexpected as the Saints need to make a number of moves to get under the salary cap by Mar. 11, 2014. As of now, they are projected to be about $13-$15 million over the cap, but they need much more money than that.
One of the priorities is to re-sign tight end Jimmy Graham, but he could also have the franchise tag placed on him by the Saints. A number of others players also need to have some contract-work done, but the casualties already seem a bit evident.
Smith is now 32-years-old and the longest tenured player on the Saints' roster, but he missed all of last season with a knee injury. He's due to earn $11.55 million this upcoming year, the final of his contract.
Harper is 31-years-old and signed through 2015, but is due to earn $3.15 million in 2014.
The Saints can save all of that money against the cap, if they designate Harper as a post-June 1 release. The Saints would still be charged a pro-rated portion of their signing bonuses against the salary cap ($2.39 million for Smith and $2.72 million for Harper).
Other rumored cap casualties/unrestricted free agents could be:
- RB Pierre Thomas
- WR Lance Moore
- CB Jabari Greer
- S Malcolm Jenkins
- LB Jonathan Vilma
- OT Zach Strief
- WR Robert Meachem
Please be sure to check out SaintsReport.com for more.