Will Smith’s former general manager was happy to see the free-agent pass rusher latch on with the New England Patriots.
The New Orleans Saints released Smith, who was due more than $10 million in 2014, in February after he tore his ACL during the 2013 preseason, forcing him to miss the entire regular season. Smith signed a one-year contract worth $920,000 with the Patriots on Monday.
“I’m excited he’s going to have this opportunity with a great organization and a team that has a chance to go to the Super Bowl,” Saints GM Mickey Loomis told The New Orleans Advocate on Tuesday. “They’re a championship-caliber team with championship-caliber people.
“It’s a perfect place for Will.”
The Patriots needed a rotational pass rusher for the 2014 season after starters Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich were overworked last year. Loomis is confident that Smith can help the Patriots, even after showing some decline before his injury.
“I think Will has tread left on his tire — no doubt in my mind,” Loomis said. “As long as he does a good job of rehabbing that injury, which I know he will and has, … he has a lot of football left in him.”
The 33-year-old defensive end was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He spent the first 10 years of his career with the Saints.