These two stories are not directly related, although my title makes it look like that a bit.
First, the Saints have signed running back Pierre Thomas to a contract extension through the 2016 season. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in 2013, but did lead all running backs with 77 receptions.
Second, Darren Sproles was to be released. He said so to ESPN's Josina Anderson.
"I want to get released," Sproles said. "I don't want to be traded. I don't know where they would send me because I have no control over it and I want to be able to pick. The good thing is none of the teams I'm told they're talking to are terrible. It's more than two. I feel I should have more of an idea later on today."
This follows a report from Tuesday that the Saints were looking to trade Sproles "due to heavy interest" in the 30-year-old back. It had been previously reported that the Saints were actually going to cut Sproles.
One way or another, I think Sproles will be headed out of town soon. How it's playing out is just messy.
Speaking of messy, the Saints' running game is a mystery to me right now. Thomas should be involved more as a receiver than a runner. I think his PPR value is just fine, maybe even better once Sproles leaves. That's the only aspect of this running attack I feel confident in forecasting right now. I think Mark Ingram will end up handling a lot of the early down work on running plays, but we shouldn't forget about Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet . Those three could all be boom-or-bust candidates. Robinson has more potential than Ingram mostly because we haven't seen as much of him -- and what we have seen has been pretty good -- but that doesn't mean he'll be especially better than the Alabama product.