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Saints planning public celebration of Will Smith’s life

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The Saints plan to hold a public celebration of Will Smith’s life at team headquarters on Friday.

Greg Bensel, the team’s senior vice president of communications and broadcasting, wrote on Twitter Monday night that “plans are in the works” for an event honoring Smith that will be open to the public and that more details should be available on Tuesday.

Smith, who was killed on Saturday night, had been voted into the team’s hall of fame before his death. A first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2004, Smith started 120 games at defensive end in nine seasons for the Saints and had 67.5 career sacks.

Smith went to the Pro Bowl in 2006 after posting 10.5 sacks. He had a career best 13 sacks in 2009.

“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,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a team statement. “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.”