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Saints release Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith

Sean Payton told us last week there were cuts coming for the New Orleans Saints. On Wednesday, the team gave us the first three names.

The team announced it terminated the contracts of cornerback Jabari Greer, safety Roman Harper and linebacker/defensive end Will Smith. The Saints also announced they don't plan to re-sign impending free-agent linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

"I have coached and been around a lot of great players and I put these four guys right there at the top," Payton said in the team release. "Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan all represent and epitomize what we look for in our players. These are disciplined, smart, tough and team-oriented individuals. They all played an important role in helping this team and this city win its first Super Bowl and they have all enjoyed multiple playoff appearances and wins."

As Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune noted, in the past decade the Saints had five Pro Bowl players on defense. They parted ways with three of them Wednesday (Smith, Vilma and Harper).

Smith is coming off an ACL tear after eight solid seasons with the Saints, including a 13-sack year in 2009.

Greer is also coming off an ACL tear, which NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports makes him eligible for $1.05 million in injury protection benefits, and he could be in play for an injury grievance.

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Harper and Vilma helped key the Saints' Super Bowl championship four seasons ago. However, both veterans have seen their play fall off precipitously the past two seasons.

As we discussed on the "Around The League Podcast," most cuts this time of year come in the form of well-paid veterans on the wrong side of their NFL careers. 

The Saints were projected to be more than $13 million above the estimated salary cap for 2014. The moves cut more than $16 million from the Saints' cap.

There still might be more cuts and restructures coming from New Orleans with holes to fill and a big contract for tight end Jimmy Graham on the horizon.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys talk Michael Sam, potential big-name cap casualties, and offseason forecasts for the Steelers and Jaguars.

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