32-Year-Old Outside Linebacker – Free Agent
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
With the Saints will be switching to a 3-4 defense, Smith is expected to start at outside linebacker after spending his entire career at defensive end. Smith made up for being only a mediocre pass rus...
2013 ADP: –
Will Smith Contract Information:
Released by the Saints in February of 2014.
Smith was released by the Saints on Wednesday, NFL.com reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Will Smith: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Smith will miss the first four games of the season due to his role in Bountygate. Last year, Smith recorded 6.5 sacks in 14 games, a slight bump from the 5.5 in the previous year. While he has a couple of outlier seasons of double digit sacks, last year is about what can be expected from Smith at this point in his career, particularly considering the upcoming suspension.
Smith's 2010 season was a huge disappointment (5.5 sacks and a career-low 39 tackles) after his breakout 2009 campaign where he managed a whopping 13 sacks. To further complicate matters, the Saints drafted DE Cameron Jordan in the first round of the NFL Draft. Oh, did we also mention that there is a good chance that Smith will finally be forced to serve the four-game suspension for substance abuse (StarCaps) that has been circulating in courts for a few years now? While Smith is a tremendous talent and is likely in no danger of losing his starting position, he may not be worth the potential headache for fantasy owners in IDP leagues.
Smith’s IDP value is usually associated with his high tackle numbers. His production in that category dropped significantly last season — from an average of 63.5 in 2007 and 2008 to just 49. But fantasy owners weren’t disappointed; his career-high 13 sacks, third among DL, made up for the drop-off. Smith’s 10-sack increase from 2008 came in Gregg Williams’ first year as New Orleans’ defensive coordinator. Williams’ focus on quarterback pressure is well known, so Smith’s jump in production could be due in part to more aggressive schemes. Smith faces a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, but a May court injunction appears to have put that on hold for this season.
Smith is a favorite in IDP leagues because he’s consistently among the top tacklers at his position, and generally a decent source of sacks. Last season was something of a disappointment – Smith wasn’t terribly effective on the pass rush and had a career-low three sacks. He retained some IDP value, though, with 61 tackles. It would be reasonable to expect a bounce-back to his usual seven-to-10 sack range, which, with his typically high tackle total, would make Smith a top-10 IDP defensive lineman. But buyer beware – Smith is one of several players facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s anti-doping policy. The NFLPA is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that sided with the NFL. If the suspension is upheld, Smith will miss the first four games of the season and should be downgraded accordingly.
Smith ranks high among defensive linemen because he is one of the best tacklers at his position. He made 66 tackles last season and threw in seven sacks. In four NFL seasons, Smith has turned in sack totals ranging from seven to 10.5. Couple that consistent production with 60 or more tackles in two of his last three campaigns (he came up short in 2006 because he missed two games), and Smith is a low-risk option. Smith is stout (6-3, 282) and has the strength and willpower to push through opposing teams on his way to the ball carrier.
Here's an upside bet for 2007. Smith has just three NFL seasons under his belt, and he's generally gotten better in each of them. He missed two games last year, but still notched a career-high 10.5 sacks and was on pace to approach 2005's tackle total. There's nothing to worry about with that bruised knee. He missed just one game with the injury; the second missed game came when the team held him out of regular-season finale for rest. At 6-3, 282, Smith is a beast who can lower his center of gravity and push through walls. What gives him such an edge is that he can move that big body with some pace to track down ball carriers. More important, he has highly polished technique, especially for someone his age. With Charles Grant playing the opposite end position, Smith is poised to excel yet again this year.
Just about nothing was positive for the Saints last year, from the catastrophe of Katrina to injuries and bad years from nearly every key player. Smith was the silver lining. While he had just one more sack than in his rookie 2004 campaign, Smith increased his solo tackle numbers from 30 to 48, which made all the difference between being a future prospect and having arrived. He also did it while starting just nine games, since New Orleans also had Charles Grant and Darren Howard in its end rotation. With Howard now in Philadelphia, thanks to Smith’s breakout, Smith will finally be a full-time starter. He’s shown great improvement in his anticipation and angles taken with the run, and closes brilliantly, whether it’s a quarterback or running back in his sights. He’ll have ample opportunity to sustain or improve those tackle stats and gives every indication he’s ready to move the sack numbers into double-digits. Looking for a value pick? Here he is.
Selected 18th overall in 2004 draft, Smith hopes to make his mark on NFL quarterbacks. However, he is buried behind Darren Howard and Charles Grant at both end positions. Barring injuries, dont expect Smith to start this year, however he will be seeing significant playing time in that rotation.