The New Orleans Saints have released linebacker Will Smith, ending the veteran's 10-year stay with the franchise.
Smith played a key role for the team as they won the Super Bowl in 2009, recording 13 sacks, but he tore his ACL last August and with a salary cap of $13.9m £8.3m) for the forthcoming season, he was always likely to be cut.
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport confirmed the news via his Twitter account, writing: "#Saints doing some cap maneuvering, hear some big cuts are coming likely today. With a cap number of $13.9M, DE Will Smith first to be released.
"Other #Saints at risk include S Roman Harper ($5.8M cap number & they drafted his replacement) & WR Lance Moore ($5.1M cap number)."
Smith was drafted by the Saints in 2004 after an impressive college career at Ohio State.