"I think we all did," said Saints fullback Mike Karney, one of McAllister's best friends on the team. "If someone said they didn't, they're lying to themselves. But it's just a tough deal to take. We knew all along that this was going to happen. We didn't know when, but here we are. It's a state of shock, but it's not like it's coming out of nowhere."
"It's extremely tough, because Deuce has been the heart and soul of this organization ever since he got here," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "Deuce and I came in together, so it was fun to follow his career. Then all of a sudden in 2006 I signed here, and we became teammates. I can definitely tell you that Deuce is one of the best teammates I ever had."
"We've left that door ajar," Loomis said. "I've had discussions with Deuce, and I've talked to his agent about that possibility. But I wouldn't call it likely. But we've left that door ajar to see what happens as we get further into this year and his rehab and where he's at and where our team is. Never say never, particularly when it comes to Deuce McAllister."
"We are excited about what Reggie has brought to the table for us," Loomis said. "We are excited about the emergence of Pierre Thomas, and we've got some other backs on our roster that have some possibilities in Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton. So we'll see what happens there. If we have an opportunity to improve our team either through free agency or the draft, we may take that."
"I thoroughly disagree with this decision, I feel Deuce had some more left in the tank," said one caller who phoned in to WWL Radio's SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia.
"He wasn't the guy he was five or three years ago, and I think they are looking for newer and younger, and it's the name of the business unfortunately," said Shane Porter, a Saints fan.
"We fill bars every Sunday when they're on the road. It's a mistake. They need to have McAlister on this team,
"I'm glad we had him for those times. And now I think it's time for a new face," Skinner said.
"Hopefully what will happen, he has been released, nobody will pick him up and he will resign for a million and a half and be on the team and not wind up leaving," said Porter.
Deuce McAllister, RB, New Orleans Saints: The Deuce is loose -- literally.
Sure, he's not the running back he once was after two major knee surgeries. And he's got the specter of last season's near-suspension for tainted supplements still hanging over his head. Those bugaboos, not to mention New Orleans' pass-happy offense and a $7-plus million cap hit, meant McAllister was expendable.
Even with those two knee injuries, however, he is still capable. Much like Taylor, he had a limited role last year -- 418 yards on only 107 carries and five TDs -- and at 30, he seems like he can bounce back from his previous maladies. Again, San Diego or Tampa Bay could be possible destinations, as could somewhere like Houston, which currently has only Steve Slaton and Ryan Moats in its backfield.
The guys from the Times-Pic talk about Deuce.
|Kevin Spain and Peter Finney on Deuce|
Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis talk about Deuce.
|Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton Talk about Deuce's Release|
So Long, Deuce - Times-Pic
Commentary: Deuce will never be forgotten (includes video) - WWL
Saints release Deuce - WWL
Saints release RB McAllister - Sports Illustrated
Saints release RB McAllister (includes video) - ESPN
From the Blogosphere:
The End of an Era - Chicks in the Huddle
Deuce - Chef Who Dat
Saints Release Deuce McAllister, New Orleans Mourns - The Fanhouse