The wide receiver made the announcement on Friday morning by thanking the fans in the Big Easy for their support via Twitter:
Thank you New Orleans for an amazing nine years. Who Dat Nation, the best on earth!!!— Lance Moore (@LanceMoore16) March 7, 2014
The Saints later confirmed the news:
ESPN's Adam Schefter also reported the news:
Saints officially are releasing WR Lance Moore today, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2014
The decision to cut Moore seems to be a financial one, as NFL writer Brian McIntyre reported that this roster move saves the franchise $3.8 million in cash and $2.5 million in cap space:
Lance Moore appears to be done with the Saints. His release would save $3.8M in cash, $2.5M in cap space. Had $500k roster bonus due on 3/25— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) March 7, 2014
The team cut ties with Moore relatively early in the offseason, considering it had until March 25 to release the 30-year-old before his roster bonus was activated.
There were reports, courtesy of Schefter, that the Saints were attempting to trade Moore as recently as Thursday, but it seems the team brass was not able to find a suitor for his service:
Saints shopping RB Pierre Thomas and WR Lance Moore to other teams, per sources, and even could be open to trading RB Darren Sproles also.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2014
It’s not surprising, considering Moore missed three games with an injured wrist and rarely saw over 60 percent of New Orleans’ offensive snaps after returning, as per Katherine Terrell of The Times-Picayune.
Terrell also noted that Moore was surprised by the news that he was being shopped around: "It's news to you, it's news to me people," Moore tweeted Thursday. "Guess we wait n see. Appreciate the love and support from everyone tho."
Rookie receiver Kenny Stills by and large replaced the veteran in the team’s passing attack and finished the 2013 season with 641 yards and five touchdowns on 32 receptions, better statistics than the 37-catch, 457-yard, two-score season that Moore put up.
Saints fans I fear IF Lance Moore has been released...he will find a roster spot in Carolina because Panthers need weapons for Cam— Steve Geller (@SteveGellerWWL) March 7, 2014
Moore played eight seasons with the Saints, emerging as a legit star during the 2008 campaign. He hauled in 79 catches for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns that year and had his first 1,000-plus yard season in 2012.
The Toledo product served as a consistent contributor within the New Orleans offense up until the 2013 season, when his production declined significantly and saw him compile his lowest numbers since an injury-plagued 2009 campaign (14 catches, 153 yards, two touchdowns).
Did the Saints make the right decision?
It shouldn’t take Moore long to catch on with a new team, especially if he shows he is fully healthy and still has something left in the tank.
While the wide receiver position is especially deep in the upcoming NFL draft, teams don’t always get a chance to add a player with Moore’s experience and consistent production.
The 5’9”, 190-pound wideout can definitely still be an asset in the league and should be making plays for another team as soon as the start of the 2014 campaign.