ESPN: Saints releasing veteran free safety Dwight Smith

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The New Orleans Saints apprised agent Drew Rosenhaus on Thursday that they have abandoned their efforts to trade starting free safety Dwight Smith, one of their steadiest defenders during a dismal 2005 season, and instead will release the veteran defensive back after just one year with the franchise.

The move comes after New Orleans officials spent much of the offseason attempting to trade Smith, and just one week before Saints players are scheduled to report to summer training camp at Millsaps College near Jackson, Miss.

A five-year veteran, Smith will become an unrestricted free agent once his name officially appears on the NFL internal transactions network, which could come as early as Thursday afternoon. While the Saints apparently could not find a trade deal to their liking, it is expected that Smith will have multiple suitors as a free agent.