The New Orleans Saints' veteran player chopping hasn't stopped as the team released running back Darren Sproles, the tailback confirmed via Twitter on Friday night. Sproles, 30, was set to enter the final year of his contract with a salary cap figure of about $4.3 million. The move would free up a maximum of $3.5 million in salary cap space. Sproles said via Twitter shortly after the news broke, "Thank you New Orleans for your support over the past 3 years! I will always be forever grateful. #WhoDat." NFL Network first reported Sproles' release. Sproles became the subject of trade rumors Thursday, along with Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas. The Saints officially released Moore on Friday. The combined releases of Moore and Sproles would save the Saints at least $6 million within the salary cap. Even tight end Jimmy Graham chimed in Friday night via Twitter upon the news of Sproles' release saying, "Wow unbelievable. Shocked and disappointed on everything that's gone on this offseason." Of course, the Saints are trying to free enough salary cap room to sign Graham to either the franchise-tag tender or a long-term deal. The Saints have purged a slew of veterans from the roster this offseason. Sproles joined Moore, safety Roman Harper, defensive end Will Smith and cornerback Jabari Greer as players the team released this offseason. New Orleans also announced it wouldn't re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma. The nine-year veteran tailback signed with the Saints in 2011 thanks to much recruiting by former Chargers teammate Drew Brees as New Orleans was searching for a replacement for Reggie Bush. Sproles turned out to be arguably the best free-agent signing in the NFL in 2011. His multi-threat capabilities springboarded the Saints to a 13-3 record in 2011. Sproles rushed for a single-season career-high 603 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also compiled a career year as a receiver with 86 catches for 710 yards and seven scores. Sproles also broke the single-season NFL record for all-purpose yards with 2,696 yards. But Sproles' numbers were at their lowest in his Saints tenure during 2013 in rushing, receiving and in the return game. Sproles ended his Saints career with 1,067 rushing yards (5.7 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He added 232 receptions for 1,981 yards and 16 TDs. He averaged 8.3 yards per punt return with one punt return for a touchdown and averaged 26.1 yards per kickoff return.
Saints release running back Darren Sproles
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Mar 8