TUESDAY, 6:21pm: After receiving heavy interest in Sproles, the Saints are now planning to trade him rather than release him, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). While no trade agreement is in place yet, it looks like the veteran running back won’t become a free agent quite yet.
FRIDAY, 5:59pm: Shortly after parting ways with one of their longtime offensive weapons, Lance Moore, the Saints are expected to cut another one. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans is releasing running back Darren Sproles. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the move isn’t official yet and the Saints are still trying to find a potential trade partner for Sproles, but will cut him if no deal can be found.
The Saints were said to be shopping both Moore and Sproles earlier this week, along with Pierre Thomas, in an effort to create some cap flexibility. With younger, less expensive players like receiver Kenny Stills and running back Khiry Robinson ready for larger roles, the team can better afford to part ways with veteran contributors like Sproles. The 30-year-old was on the Saints’ cap for a $4.25MM cap number in 2014, but that will now be reduced to $750K in dead money, creating $3.5MM in cap savings for the club.
When the move becomes official, Sproles should draw plenty of interest from teams looking to add running back depth. The ex-Charger had developed into one of the league’s best receiving threats out of the backfield, averaging more than 77 catches per season in his three years with the Saints.