After last year's razing of the Saints' 2009 defense, everybody knew that the Saints were all business moving on. They showed once again that there is no room for sentiment in today's NFL with the release of running back Pierre Thomas. According to a source paraphrased first by Ian Rapoport:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>More <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash">#Saints</a> news: They’ve informed veteran RB Pierre Thomas that they are releasing him, source says.</p>— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) <a href="https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/573229775856091136">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Nick Underhill of The Advocate posted his story HERE, noting that the news was given to Thomas today, and projecting $1.735 in cap savings for the team along with $830,000 in DEAD MONEY (gasp! clutches pearls!!!).
Thomas, a 30-year-old running back out of the University of Illinois, had served his entire eight-year NFL career as a Saint, including being a major cog in the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV winning season in 2009 (Thomas tallied a career high 793 rushing yards on 147 carries that season, which also was the year in which Drew Brees threw a career low number of passes as a Saint).
However, where Thomas really shined was in the passing game. Not only was he a nightmare to defend out of the screen game, Thomas also picked up blocks with the best blocking backs in the league. He was always a bit of an unsung hero outside of New Orleans, whether he was playing behind Reggie Bush or Mark Ingram, but he was always an excellent spell back and a reliable "backup," to use the word loosely.
This release raises a few more questions as to what they're going to do in the 2015 offseason. It's glaringly obvious that the Saints are trying to add youth, and 30 years old is historically the downturn of a running back's career. However, with Thomas having been the constant in the New Orleans' backfield, it's questionable as to whether they're going to make a stronger push for Ingram (as head coach Sean Payton has suggested recently) or try to shore up the position with youth in the draft. Some have stated that they have a natural replacement for Thomas in Restricted Free Agent Travaris Cadet, but Cadet has shown little for the Saints outside of being a specialist on Special Teams.
How does this move make you feel? What does this mean for the team's plans for the offensive backfield?
Below are Thomas's career stats as a Saint, and naturally all of Who Dat Nation wishes him (and whichever non-NFC South team picks him up) the best of luck for the rest of his career.