Drew Brees won’t be the only familiar face absent from this season’s New Orleans Saints lineup. After refusing to take a pay cut, backup running back and occasional starter Latavius Murray was handed his walking papers less than a week before the team’s season opener.
— NFL (@NFL) September 7, 2021
Prior to his Tuesday release, Murray, 31, was scheduled to make $3.15 million in combined salary and bonuses. In 2019, the running back inked a four-year $14.4 million deal and quickly established himself as one of the league’s best bargains.
Over two seasons with New Orleans, Murray compiled 1,704 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns. Murray filled in admirably when star running back Alvin Kamara missed two games because of injury in 2019. The potent Saints offense didn’t skip a beat, as Murray churned out more than 150 yards from scrimmage in both contests.
Following his release, Murray told ESPN’s Josina Anderson: “I’m willing to discuss an opportunity with anyone interested in me. At the same time, Baltimore is a team that was impacted by injuries, has a great chance of winning and a great coaching staff. I just want to get to work.”
It would not be a surprise to see Murray quickly catch on elsewhere. Over seven seasons, he’s rushed for nearly 5,000 yards, tallied more than 1,200 receiving yards and totaled 45 career touchdowns.
With Murray now out of the picture, New Orleans will rely on Tony Jones Jr., Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery as backups to Kamara.