NFL Rumors: CJ Spiller Release By New Orleans Might Not Have Been Only About Health

Not every big free agent contract signing works out in the NFL. According to NBC Sports, CJ Spiller has been released by the New Orleans Saints. The former ninth overall selection in the draft will now be looking for his third team in the National Football League because the Saints have moved on.

When the New Orleans Saints opened up the regular NFL season, they were up against the Oakland Raiders. CJ Spiller was on the inactive list for that one. That led reporters to ask Saints head coach Sean Payton about his health. Surprisingly, Payton stated that Spiller was healthy enough to play, which led to speculations.

At one point in time, CJ Spiller looked like he was going to be the next great running back in the NFL. He had a dominant career with the Clemson Tigers. Spiller was so impressive in college that several teams were interested in drafting him in the first round in 2010.

The Buffalo Bills ended up being the team that would select CJ Spiller. The Florida native spent the first couple of seasons splitting the carries out of the backfield. Once he was made the feature back, Spiller impressed the NFL by rushing for 1,244 yards and six touchdowns.

Believing that he still had potential to be a superstar running back in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints decided to give CJ Spiller a four-year contract that was worth approximately $18 million. In his first year with the Saints, Spiller ran just 36 times and ended up on injured reserve.

Running back depth might have been another reason why the New Orleans Saints decided to give up on CJ Spiller. He was behind Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower, and Travaris Cadet. It also did not help Spiller that Daniel Lasco also doubled as a contributor on special teams.

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram
CJ Spiller [Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]

From a salary cap standpoint, the CJ Spiller release is going to hurt the New Orleans Saints. The franchise already has more dead money than any other team in the NFL. Spiller counts $4.5 million this year, and he will be on the books for $2.5 million next season, even though he will not be around, as reported by ABC News.

In total, CJ Spiller will walk away with $9 million from his contract with the New Orleans Saints. Since he only played 13 games, that is quite the catch. Spiller would be wise to put that money away because another big pay day in the NFL will be hard to come by.

While the move comes as a surprise to some people, including a couple of players on the New Orleans Saints roster, the belief was that CJ Spiller was not even going to make the 53-man roster. However, it now appears that management kept him around an extra week to avoid being forced to guarantee his contract for the year, as reported by NBC Sports.

New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower
Tim Hightower [Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]

At just 29 years of age, CJ Spiller still has a chance at continuing his career in the NFL. He might just need to wait for an injury to take place to another running back.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory, who was expected to be a starter for the team this season, was recently hospitalized. He was released from the facility on Tuesday, but his status is currently up in the air. If there are complications, then CJ Spiller could provide useful depth for the Jaguars.

Releases happen in the NFL. That is just a part of the business. Players should understand that. CJ Spiller now just needs to focus on finding that new home, so that he can continue his professional football career for at least a couple more seasons.

[Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]