C.J. Spiller‘s tenure in New Orleans appears to be over. According to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (via Twitter), the Saints have released the veteran running back. The reporter notes that the 29-year-old is healthy and should land on a new team relatively quickly.
Spiller joined the Saints last offseason after having spent the first five seasons of his career with the Bills. The former first-rounder inked a four-year contract worth $18MM, with $9MM guaranteed. As the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin notes on Twitter, the Saints had already paid Spiller a $1.55MM roster bonus and guaranteed his $1.7MM salary for 2016.
The running back appeared in 13 games for the Saints in 2015 before being placed on the injured reserve. Spiller struggled during his only season in New Orleans, compiling only 112 rushing yards on 36 carries. However, he did continue to show flashes in the passing game, hauling in 34 receptions for 239 yards and a pair of scores. Spiller’s best professional season came in 2012, when he finished with 1,244 rushing yards and six touchdowns (along with 43 receptions for 459 yards and two scores).
Spiller’s time with the Saints seemed to be running short after this weekend’s game against the Raiders. The veteran back was inactive for the contest, and replacement Travaris Cadet ended up appearing in 26 offensive snaps (three less than starter Mark Ingram). Coach Sean Payton cited a roster crunch when it came to Spiller being inactive.
“It was just one of these games we knew (Travaris) Cadet was going to have a big role in his position and it really came down to the numbers,” Payton said (via Herbie Teope of NOLA.com). “(Daniel) Lasco is playing on all special teams, it’s really one of the challenges with six running backs on the roster.”