Saints pay tribute to Smith


The New Orleans Saints have paid tribute to former captain Will Smith, who died on Saturday.

Smith was the victim of a shooting in New Orleans, as confirmed by the city coroner.

The Saints issued a statement shortly after the confirmation, paying tribute to the Super Bowl winner.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Will and his wife Racquel, but more importantly with their children, William, Wynter and Lisa who are suffering and just starting to realise and deal with an unimaginable loss," said Saints owner Tom and wife Gayle Benson.

"We are devastated and saddened by Will's tragic and preventable death due to a senseless act that will leave a lasting scar on our community forever.

"Will was more than an exceptional football player he was a father, a husband, a son, a brother and teammate to so many and an inspiration to countless more.

"He will be greatly missed by all those he touched and impacted both on and off the football field and his legacy will continue to shine.

"The Saints family is hurting and devastated as it has lost a member too young and too soon."

Executive vice-president and general manager Mickey Loomis said Smith would be fondly remembered by the Saints.

"Our entire organisation is deeply saddened and our condolences go out to Will's wife, Racquel, their children and their entire family," he said.

"Will came to New Orleans 12 years ago and quickly developed both on the field as a player and off the field as a leader to become one of the cornerstones of a team that would go on to win a Super Bowl.

"In our community he was an important contributor to numerous charitable causes to benefit those in need. Will's contributions to both our franchise and our community as a whole will always be remembered."