Saints updates: Sproles, RFAs, UFAs

The New Orleans Saints still have not officially released running back Darren Sproles. Apparently they're still waiting to see if they can trade him before releasing him. Technically, the Saints don't have to make a move before the start of the new league year Tuesday afternoon since they're already under the salary cap. So I'm not sure what their unofficial deadline is for making a final decision.

The Saints are an estimated $2.6 million under the salary cap, according to ESPN's latest figures. Releasing or trading Sproles would put them more than $6 million under the cap.

No tenders for Collins, Morgan: The Saints won’t make qualifying tenders to restricted free agent fullback Jed Collins and receiver Joe Morgan, according to The Times-Picayune, which cited a source. But the Saints are still interested in re-signing both players at more affordable rates.

I’m surprised on Collins, since I think the Saints value him highly as a blocking back and occasional receiver in their offense. But the fullback position is a part-time role in the Saints’ offense, so they don’t want to invest too much in that area. And perhaps they think they can retain Collins at something like $1 million per year. (The lowest RFA tender would have been around $1.4 million).

The Saints also like Morgan’s potential after he showed so much promise as a deep threat in 2012. But they probably want to minimize any investment on him after he missed all of last season with a torn ACL.

Here was my recent breakdown of the Saints’ restricted free agents.

Interest in Strief, de la Puente: The Saints have not given up on the idea of re-signing free agent offensive linemen Zach Strief and Brian de la Puente. But they will hit the open market today, and there has been some interest in both of them.

Strief's agent Ralph Cindrich said there have been discussions with teams, but nothing finalized yet. Both ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton and the Miami Herald have speculated the Miami Dolphins might have interest in Strief. The Advocate's Ramon Antonio Vargas said the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown interest in de la Puente.