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Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith rework Saints contracts

The New Orleans Saints have turned to two defensive veterans -- Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith -- to provide a hint of salary-cap relief at the start of free agency.

Offseason Forecast: Saints


With the offseason under way, Around The League examines what's next for all 32 teams. Chris Wesseling breaks down the Saints. More...'s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Vilma has agreed to restructure his contract and will remain in-house at linebacker for 2013. Meanwhile, Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune reported that defensive end Will Smith also reworked his contract to help New Orleans sneak under the cap in time for Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Vilma was scheduled to count $8.6 million against the cap this season, anchored by his $4.8 million base salary. Smith's cap hit was a whopping $14.5 million. We have yet to see the new numbers, but both players were expected to take a pay cut.

Vilma and Smith were central figures in the Saints' seemingly never-ending bounty scandal last season, but what's unclear is how they will fit in the team's new 3-4 defense. Vilma turns 31 next month, and Smith turns 32 in July. Neither has the ability to disrupt an offense the way they used to, but New Orleans -- not exactly overflowing with defensive talent -- is hoping there's something left.

UPDATE:The Times-Picayune reported Tuesday night that Smith's 2013 base salary was dropped from $9 million to $3 million, and Vilma's dropped from $4.8 million to $1 million.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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