C.J. Spiller was released by the New Orleans Saints Tuesday as New Orleans hardly has a dearth of running backs with Mark Ingram,Tim Hightower and Travaris Cadet on the roster.
Spiller was a surprise inactive against the Raiders on Sunday as Saints head coach Sean Payton cited a “numbers game” issue, but it’s obvious now that the issue ran deeper.
As for which team(s) may call the former Clemson standout, the Redskins immediately jump to mind as a team that would be interested in Spiller’s services. Spiller was an outstanding threat running the ball and catching the ball out of the backfield for the Bills not too long ago as he racked up 933 yards on 78 carries in 2013 and caught 33 balls for 185 yards in 2013. The year prior he had his lone 1,000-yard rushing season in the NFL (a 1,244-yard campaign). He also had 459 yards receiving on 43 receptions in 2012.
Spiller played just nine games with the Bills in 2014, missing a large chunk of time due to a broken collarbone. He signed a four-year, $18 million contract with New Orleans in March of 2015.
He never got on track with the Saints during his brief tenure there, as he carried the ball just 36 times last season for 112 yards. He did have 34 catches for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns but was far from the primary back.
The Redskins came into this season wanting to run the football but ran the ball a pathetic 12 times against the Steelers Monday night. Matt Jones had seven carries (24 yards), Chris Thompson had four carries (23 yards) and Kirk Cousins had one attempt (8 yards).
“That’s the one thing we’ve really got to look at,” Washington head coach Jay Gruden said, via the Washington Post. “We’ve really got to get the running game going to take some pressure off the quarterback … You forget the bread and butter of this football team, and it needs to be the running game.”
Washington was one of those teams heading into the season where you questioned whether or not they would ever be able to get anything going out of the backfield. So far, not great.
The Patriots were another team that was weak at RB heading into the 2016 season, but they looked fine Sunday night in the desert. LeGarrette Blount carried the ball 22 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. James White also looked more than capable filling the Patriots’ “Kevin Faulk role,” as he caught five balls for 40 yards.The Patriots will also likely get Dion Lewis back healthy later in the season, so don’t expect the Pats to get into any sort of bidding war (not that they ever do)for a back like Spiller.