Saints Release Dwight Smith

Posted on Selasa, 05 April 2011 |
Dwight Smith was released by the New Orleans Saints last Thursday and he will probably start with another team by the end of this week: the Minnesota Vikings. Apparently he has been meeting with this team’s coaches and officials since last Monday.

Minnesota already has a Pro Bowl free safety: Darren Sharper, who is a nine-year veteran and has registered nine interceptions in 2005, but the team seems prepared to make accommodations to fit Smith into the lineup. If Smith is acquired, Sharper might move to strong safety in the cover two scheme, allowing him to play closer to the line of scrimmage on occasion.

Adding the five year veteran to the Vikings draft would provide Minnesota with a pair of safeties in the scheme that Tomlin established in the off-season, and more support to the standout cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot.

The Vikings have signed the former Tennessee Titans starting strong safety Tank Williams as an unrestricted free agent and he and the four-year veteran Willie Offord appeared to be ready to compete for the starting job there. Acquiring Smith might change that.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus said that, until a deal is not confirmed, all of the teams that are seriously pursuing Dwight Smith will be in camp by the end of this week. Smith is the kind of safety that many teams want, an interior defender with cornerback-level coverage skills. As a matter of fact, Smith started his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a standout nickel cornerback and then he was moved to safety in 2003.

Dwight Smith who is 27 years old, supplies a defense with fantastic flexibility because of his hybrid skills and his ability to move out into the slot and cover wide receivers.

Smith has appeared in 78 games and started 49 of them during his career. He has 306 tackles, one sack, 14 interceptions, 45 passes defended, seven forced fumbles and two recoveries. In Super Bowl XXXVII when Tampa Bay won over the Oakland Raiders, Smith returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

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