We expected the New Orleans Saints to sign free agent cornerback Desmond Trufant after a successful tryout, but the corresponding roster move is a little surprising. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that the Saints will release backup running back Latavius Murray on Tuesday, which was confirmed by NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill.
It’s surprising because Murray had played well in his first few years with New Orleans, and the decision to keep him during final roster cuts last week suggested the Saints thought he still had something left to give. Schefter adds that the Saints approached Murray about a pay cut, but he declined — which makes sense considering how few slices of the pie are left to go around just days before the season starts. It’s a shame the Saints didn’t get a draft pick or any other compensation before letting Murray go, but his poor performance in preseason likely quieted any interest.
So now Murray will go looking for a new team. Maybe he ends up following the path of the player he replaced by signing with Mark Ingram’s old Baltimore Ravens squad, which has dealt with a rash of injuries at the position in recent weeks. There are other openings around the league.
As for New Orleans: it’s the Tony Jones Jr. show behind Alvin Kamara. They also have Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery on the roster if more backs are needed down the line. Cutting Murray at this point saves more than $3.1 million in salary cap, but it remains to be seen what Trufant signed for, which help balance that out. Stay tuned for additional roster moves in the days ahead.
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