Lance Moore is on his way out from New Orleans. On Friday, the long-time New Orleans Saints slot receiver tweeted out a good bye to fans, indicating that he has been released from the team. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed with a source that New Orleans plans to cut Moore on Friday.
Thank you New Orleans for an amazing nine years. Who Dat Nation, the best on earth!!!— Lance Moore (@LanceMoore16) March 7, 2014
Moore has been considered a potential cap casualty for some time. His name popped up in a trade rumor Thursday evening, along with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. With the Saints owning just over $1.5 million in space against the $133 million salary cap and Jimmy Graham set to file a grievance to have his franchise tag reclassified as a wide receiver tender, the Saints are desperate to clear room. They lose a productive player in Moore, but his release makes sense.
Among the three players mentioned on the trade block, Moore was the least productive. He had once been a high-volume target out of the slot, but the Saints have since gone to a by-committee approach at the position, using a mix of Graham, Sproles and Marques Colston. As a result, Moore was limited to 37 receptions for 457 yards and two touchdowns in 13 regular season games last season. His reception and yardage totals were his lowest since 2009 when he was limited to seven games.
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SB Nation NFL
By releasing Moore, the Saints will save just more than $2.5 million in cap space. They will also lose another $2.5 million as a result of Moore's prorated signing bonus for the next two years, but the Saints are apparently desperate enough to stay out of cap trouble and accommodate Graham to eat the dead money.
As for Moore, he becomes one of the better slot receiving options on the market. His biggest competitors on the market appear to be, at this point, Santana Moss then a big drop-off to a troubled Davone Bess. That's not to say Moore should expect a big payday, however. His declining production and advancing age -- he'll hit 31 in August -- could make him a tough sell to prospective teams. Moore probably shouldn't expect to receive a contract like the five-year deal worth up to $21.5 million that he received in 2011 from New Orleans.
The Detroit Lions have already been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Moore by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. New Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi worked as a Saints assistant for seven years prior to joining Detroit, and was in New Orleans for Moore's most productive years. The Lions are in need of wide receiver depth behind Calvin Johnson, and Moore would fit nicely within the offensive scheme and could come relatively cheap.