Will Smith has been pushing the New Orleans Saints for a new deal, and today defensive end got his wish. Reports are coming out that Smith has signed a new six-year deal with the Saints that will include $26 million in guarantees. The deal is worth $70 million according to the AP. It makes him the third highest paid defensive end in the league, behind the Vikings Jared Allen and the Colts Dwight Freeney.
Smith was the Saints first-round pick out of Ohio State back in 2004, and made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and his seven sacks in 2007 led the Saints. He also was among team leaders in tackles with 66. “The Saints really stepped up,” said Smith’s agent, Joel Segal. “It was a long negotiation and a great deal for both Will and the Saints.”
The DE was in the process of skipping most of the teams OTA’s, but now that he is a VERY rich player, most of the hard feelings will be put aside as the Saints get ready for training camp in July. “He’ll be able to show up for training camp now with nothing on his mind but getting ready for the season and the Super Bowl,” Segal said.
Now it will be up to Smith to step it up, last season his sack numbers dropped from 10.5 in 2006 to 7. While his tackle numbers were up, the team will count on him even more to be the team leader on the D-line, as well as to make plays and cause havoc in the opponents backfield.