Saints were set to hire Will Smith before he was killed

NFL head coaches

On a day when the NFL world was reminded of the harsh realities of life with theĀ suicide of Aaron Hernandez, here’s yet another poignant reminder that the game of football isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Speaking to reporters during his annual pre-draft press conference, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton indicated that the team was set to hire former defensive end Will Smith beforeĀ he was killed last April.

Smith’s role would have been to work with the team’s defensive line, a position he played during his stellar nine-year career with the team.

Smith was killed a year ago last week in what was deemed a road rage incident in Louisiana. It was just this past December that the man who shot Smith, Cardell Hayes, was convicted on manslaughter charges.

This incident led to an outpouring of grief from the larger NFL community and really impacted those within the Saints’ organization. Smith played up until the 2012 season. He was coached by Payton during the final six seasons with the team and is a former teammate of multiple current Saints players.