New Orleans Saints: Latavius Murray release looks even better days later

Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints (Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints (Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the news. The New Orleans Saints announced on the Tuesday looking up to their first game of the regular season that they had decided to move on from running back Latavius Murray. The six-foot-three, 230-pound tailback remains unsigned at the time of this story being written and published.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, his refusal to take a pay cut may have been the biggest driving force behind their decision.

Days later, the New Orleans Saints’ decision looks better and better.

There’s always fallout with these types of things happen, and Murray’s release led to differing opinions among members of the media and Saints fans, especially seeing as how he’s coming off of a nice season in which there were no major signs of deterioration.

Try 15 games with seven starts, 656 rushing yards during the regular season on 146 carries, 23 receptions for 176 yards, and five total touchdowns on for size if you need evidence. All of that occurred while sharing snaps (and carries) with Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill.

Still, and here comes a controversial statement, at the risk of sounding disrespectful, this is a move that makes sense, a move that looks even better now after we’ve had a few days to think about it. Murray’s salary, one that counted as $4 million against the cap, stuck out like a sore thumb to a team that’s been looking for imaginative ways to save money and add talent at other positions.

Keep in mind the fact that we’ve been talking about a lack of depth at the wide receiver position and the need to free up cash to extend guys like Terron Armstead all Spring and Summer. The Saints still have Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill on the roster. They’ll be fine in the running game, even without Murray, but would they have been able to sign Desmond Trufant had they not freed up the space?

We don’t need to spend huge amounts of time discussing how wise it was to bring Trufant in. We don’t need to express how important Armstead is to this offensive line, but the following statement may need to be made.

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The running back is the most punishing position in the NFL. Those guys take a beating, so regardless of how good Latavius Murray is and regardless of what he accomplished in two years with the New Orleans Saints, releasing a 31-year-old tailback to free up cap space has to be seen as a wise move. Heck, after watching the Saints add Desmond Trufant two days later, the move looks even better days after it happened than it did when it was announced.