New Orleans, La.- The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with DE Will Smith to a six-year contract extension, which will take the defensive ends contract through the 2014 season. The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
"We are excited about getting this long-term contract done with Will," said Loomis. "We view him as one of our core players and look forward to him having an impact on our defense for years to come."
Smith, a 6-3, 282-pound product of Ohio State, was originally selected by the Saints in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft with the 18th overall pick. The native of Utica, New York has started 43-of-62 games and has and collected 265 career tackles, 33.5 sacks for -221.5 yards, 12 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed.
Smith's sack total through his first four NFL seasons with the club is ranked third in franchise history He will be entering his fifth NFL season in 2008. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2006, Smith has recorded 121 tackles, 17.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Elected by his teammates as one of two defensive captains for 2007, he made 65 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, leading the club in quarterback takedowns in recoveries. In 2006, Smith collected a career-high 10.5 sacks, making 56 tackles, also adding three forced fumbles, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery as he was voted to the Pro Bowl.
By agreeing to an extension with the Saints, Smith becomes the latest in what has been a busy off-season for the club. The team re-signed 2007 starters and key contributors WR Terrance Copper, G Jonathan Goodwin, K Martin Gramatica, WR Devery Henderson, TE Eric Johnson, TE Billy Miller, G Jamar Nesbit, WR David Patten, LB Mark Simoneau, RB Aaron Stecker and DT Brian Young and key contributors DT Antwan Lake, TE Billy Miller, S Jay Bellamy, DT Rodney Leisle, also added free agent QB Mark Brunell, CB Randall Gay, CB Aaron Glenn and DB Bobby McCray and acquired LB Jonathan Vilma from the New York Jets.