Vilma, Smith took massive pay cuts

Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith took a combined cut in pay of nearly $10 million in order to stay with the New Orleans Saints.

I just got a look at the official details of the contract restructuring by the two veterans, and these aren’t the typical instances where base salary is converted to signing bonus. These were flat-out cuts in pay.

Vilma had been scheduled to earn $4.8 million in base salary. After the restructuring, he’ll earn only $1 million in base pay. He also had his workout bonus increased from $100,000 to $200,000. Vilma originally had been scheduled to count $8.633 million against this year’s cap. His new cap figure is $3.833 million.

Smith’s cut was even deeper. He saw his base salary dropped from $9 million to $3 million. Smith’s cap figure initially was scheduled to be $13.9 million; his new cap figure is $8.502 million. The Saints did not alter Smith’s contract for 2014, when he’s scheduled to make $10.4 million in base salary and have a $13.9 million cap figure.

Again, straight pay cuts -- especially ones this large -- are rare. But Vilma and Smith were in rare circumstances. They went through a difficult 2012 with the bounty scandal and the Saints stood by them. Now, Vilma and Smith are returning that loyalty.