The New Orleans Saints announced Wednesday the team was "parting ways" with four players who were key in the team's Super Bowl win.
Cornerback Jabari Greer, safety Roman Harper, defensive end and outside linebacker Will Smith's contracts were terminated. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma will not be re-signed.
Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis says the decision was not an easy one, saying all have been excellent on the field.
"However, a new NFL year is about to begin, and with the start of free agency in March, these difficult moves allow us to position our team under the salary cap to move forward in 2014," Loomis said.
Head Coach Sean Payton had nothing but praise for the players. "I have coached and been around a lot of great players and I put these four guys at the top."
Smith said his dream was to retire as a Saint, but he understands in the NFL it's business first.
He added, "I'm in good spirits, thankful and focused on training. My family and I welcome the next chapter in our NFL life. Who Dat!"