The New Orleans Saints will cut running back Darren Sproles if a trade doesn’t materialize, a source confirmed to FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo on Friday.
Sproles, due $3.4 million in base salary in 2014, gave a shoutout to fans on Twitter after the news broke:
The NFL did not release any formal transactions involving Sproles and the Saints did not immediately comment on the significance of Sproles’ Twitter post.
Sproles joined the Saints as a free agent in 2011, setting an NFL record for total yards in a season with 2,696.
Last season, Sproles, who routinely catches passes out of the backfield, accounted for 604 yards and two touchdowns receiving to go with 220 yards and two TDs rushing. He returned 29 punts, with his longest return going for 28 yards, and ran back 12 kickoffs, none for more than 32 yards.
The Saints also released veteran receiver Lance Moore on Friday.
Thank you New Orleans for your support over the past 3 years! I will always be forever grateful. #WhoDat
Cutting Moore, who was due $3.1 million in base salary next season, marked the latest of several cost-cutting moves by the Saints as they seek to create space under the NFL’s salary cap to work out a long-term extension with star tight end Jimmy Graham.
In the past month, the Saints have cut defensive end Will Smith, safety Roman Harper and cornerback Jabari Greer, who were all starters on New Orleans’ 2009 Super Bowl team. In addition, the Saints have said they would not bring back free agent linebacker Jonathan Vilma, a former defensive captain who has been hampered by knee injuries in recent seasons.
Tight end Jimmy Graham offered his thoughts Friday night via Twitter upon the news of Sproles’ release:
Wow unbelievable. Shocked and disappointed on everything that's gone on this offseason.