The New Orleans Saints announced on Wednesday that they will be parting ways with four team veterans and members of the 2009 Super Bowl championship team: defensive end Will Smith, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Roman Harper and cornerback Jabari Greer. Per ESPN...
None of the moves was unexpected, based on a combination of the Saints' salary-cap situation and the players' declining skills or injury issues. But it was obviously a huge and emotional move for the franchise.
"These were not easy decisions to make," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. "Since we acquired them, Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan have all been excellent players on the field for us. Each of them were integral parts in turning this program around and winning a Super Bowl. They were a great example to our players as team leaders in the locker room as well. ...
"However ... these difficult moves allow us to position our team under the salary cap to move forward for 2014."
Both Harper and Vilma took to Twitter after they were informed of their releases:
Roman HarperVerified ?@Harp41
To the city of New Orleans and it's fans .... THANK YOU for the 8 years of #GreatMemories #WHODAT #SBXLIVCHAMPS pic.twitter.com/PgBAnXJkhU
Jonathan Vilma @JonVilma51
Couple pro bowls and a superbowl ring later, I couldn't have written that chapter any better. #WhoDat
On Thursday, the Saints released this tribute video for the four players: LINK