After Further Review: Saints' moves difficult, but all neces - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

After Further Review: Saints' moves difficult, but all necessary

© (AP Photo) Jonathan Vilma played a key role in the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run © (AP Photo) Jonathan Vilma played a key role in the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - In an offseason that was sure to bring wholesale cost-cutting, the Saints began with a bang.

On Wednesday, the team cut ties with Will Smith, Roman Harper and Jabari Greer and announced they would not re-sign Jonathan Vilma.

None of the moves was surprising, but all had to be difficult to make.

"I have coached and been around a lot of great players, and I put these four guys right there at the top," head coach Sean Payton said in a statement.

It's the truth. These weren't just four ordinary guys. These were four core players that were integral in the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run.

But in the NFL, nothing lasts forever. Not even Super Bowl teams. And with the Saints facing a projected $12 million to $15 million overage in salary cap, it was finally time to say goodbye to more older/expensive players from the most successful era in team history. The Saints are down to eight players from that Super Bowl roster now.

Financially, general manager Mickey Loomis settled the Saints' bottom line. They freed up $16.9 million in cap space to put them roughly at $2 million to $5 million under the cap.

All of that is certainly good news, but I'll be very curious to see if it's enough. The Saints still have Jimmy Graham, a new draft class and some other unrestricted free agents on their offseason to-do list to complete.   

So as difficult as today was, more moves could potentially be on the horizon.

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