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Sean Payton pays homage to released New Orleans Saints quartet

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton says that the four players cut by the franchise today "epitomise" what he looks for in football talent.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has paid tribute to four Super Bowl-winning players who were cut by the franchise today.

After news that defensive end Will Smith would not have his contract renewed, the franchise confirmed via their website that inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma, cornerback Jabari Greer and safety Roman Harper would also be released.

All four players helped the Saints win the sport's ultimate prize in 2009, and Payton has stated that all of them represent what he looks for in a football player.

Payton said: "I have coached and been around a lot of great players and I put these four guys right there at the top; Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan all represent and epitomise 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."

Smith's departure signals the end to a decade with the team, while Greer, Harper and Vilma have all been part of Payton's set-up for over five years.

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Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 17, 2012
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