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C.J. Spiller would be wise to wait

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Running back C.J. Spiller #28 of the New Orleans Saints rushes the ball against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Saints released running back C.J. Spiller. He has said he intends to play elsewhere this year.

But maybe he shouldn’t.

With a guaranteed base salary of $1.7 million, Spiller will be working for free unless someone pays him more than $100,000 per week for each remaining week of the season. Given the health risks and overall wear and tear that comes from playing tailback in the NFL, Spiller’s best move could be to take the money from New Orleans and spend the next several months working out and preparing for 2017.

Even if he’s inclined to play, Spiller should wait to see which teams emerge as contenders — and whether a contender loses a tailback to a significant injury. Depending on how things play out, Spiller could leverage an offer that would exceed $100,000 per week.

Meanwhile, some remain surprised by Spiller’s departure from New Orleans. On Wednesday, coach Sean Payton addressed the decision with reporters.

“It didn’t have to be done by the first game of the season,” Payton said. “His salary was guaranteed. This was more about, ‘Is there a potential trade partner?’ Obviously, the urgency changed with the injury of Delvin Breaux. [Spiller is] a phenomenal guy/teammate. We spent about a half hour just he and I talking yesterday. I think he’s going to have an opportunity sooner than later with another club and yet the window in this building or this club’s not definitely closed.”

Still, Spiller can get $1.6 million for doing nothing over the next 16 weeks. Any decision to play should be based on getting more than that — or getting a chance to showcase his skills in the postseason, when 20 and more teams are home watching what he can do.

It’s unknown what teams would want him to do. Payton specifically referred to Spiller’s skills as a kick returner, but Payton said Spiller’s inability to make an offensive impact was unrelated to his ability to master the team’s offense. One source with knowledge of the situation, however, tells PFT that Spiller struggled at times with the New Orleans playbook and scheme.

The Jets make sense, because Spiller thrived in Buffalo when Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey served as head coach there. Although Gailey was interested in Spiller when he became a free agent in 2015, a league source tells PFT that Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan wasn’t interested in pursuing Spiller.

That said, a rash of injuries can change everything, for the Jets and any other team.

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16 Responses to “C.J. Spiller would be wise to wait”
  1. QB Film Room says: Sep 14, 2016 1:39 PM

    not a bad situation to be in. Spiller has the Pre 2011 CBA to thank and the fact he went in the top ten of 2010 Draft.

  2. vicnocal says: Sep 14, 2016 1:46 PM

    “What’d I tell you about that offset language?” – Joey Bosa

  3. captainwhodat says: Sep 14, 2016 1:47 PM

    paid vacation…what a country…

  4. chris6523 says: Sep 14, 2016 1:48 PM

    Good points made. Best option for him is to sit tight and let the market come to him. Not sure if anyone would offer him more than 110k per week right now, but a contender in need might throw him 750k to finish out the last 5 weeks of the season, plus maybe pick up some playoff cash and finally get a chance to play some post season ball.

    Here is a true/false statement I probably would have gotten wrong: CJ Spiller once gained more than 1,700 years scrimmage in a season.

  5. thepopefromtv says: Sep 14, 2016 1:52 PM

    Mr Spiller, Indianapolis is on line 2

  6. onereasonableman says: Sep 14, 2016 2:04 PM

    Does anyone know whether their contracts require them to make “best efforts” to find a team once they are released?

    I’m just wondering if that offset language comes with the requirement for them to try to find another team or are they free to sit back and wait.

  7. fooch21 says: Sep 14, 2016 2:20 PM

    No way he should wait. Do you follow the RB market at all? Given his injury history and the fact that he will be 30 before next season I guarantee he’ll fall into the black hole of 30 yo RB market and never be signed again.

    He better get some good tape together this year in hopes to keep playing next year.

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 14, 2016 2:40 PM

    “One source with knowledge of the situation, however, tells PFT that Spiller struggled at times with the New Orleans playbook and scheme.”

    Well that eliminates the Pats as a possible landing place. If he can’t understand New Orlean’s offense he can’t understand the Pat’s.

  9. icebowler says: Sep 14, 2016 2:40 PM

    I never could figure out Sean Peyton’s RB strategy. I always thought Chris Ivory was their best back a few years ago, but he hardly ever played that much during his early years with the Saints.

  10. schmitty2 says: Sep 14, 2016 2:53 PM

    Sorry Florio, I have to disagree. He is pushing 30 but potentially could still be decent given the right situation and stays healthy. If signs on with another team this year and is productive that could parlay into a decent sized contract he might not have gotten if he sat out the rest of the year.

  11. damadhatterb says: Sep 14, 2016 3:08 PM

    If Chris Ivory’s health issue(s) that put him in the hospital for a few days are going to be a concern throughout the season, the Jaguars should consider CJ Spiller. They need someone to compliment and split carries with TJ Yeldon because Denard Robinson isn’t cutting it.

    I haven’t paid much attention to Spiller after he left Buffalo but if he’s even half the player he was when he was with the Bills, he would be an improvement to Robinson. This is all a big “If” dependent on Ivory’s status.

  12. TheDPR says: Sep 14, 2016 3:38 PM

    I think the Saints like Cadet better in that same sort of 3rd down RB role. Cadet finally seems to be healthy and so Spiller is unnecessary to their plans at the moment (until Cadet is hurt again).

  13. doubleogator says: Sep 14, 2016 6:13 PM

    Time for Mikey Loomis to go…past time actually.

  14. cuda1234 says: Sep 14, 2016 8:36 PM

    Florio perfectly sums up the attitude of so many Americans today: why work when you can get get paid to stay home and do nothing?

  15. mdd913 says: Sep 15, 2016 1:58 AM

    icebowler says:
    Sep 14, 2016 2:40 PM

    I never could figure out Sean Peyton’s RB strategy. I always thought Chris Ivory was their best back a few years ago, but he hardly ever played that much during his early years with the Saints.


    If you want to play RB in a Sean Payton offense, you have to be able to block. That’s the reason he held onto Pierre Thomas so long, and the reason why it took Ingram 3 years to become a full-time player. It’s also the reason why a bunch of super-talented RB’s – Mike Bell, Ivory, Khiry Robinson, and now Spiller have come and gone while more marginal talents like Travaris Cadet and Tim Hightower stay on the roster.

  16. iknoweverything2 says: Sep 15, 2016 2:14 AM

    I’m glad the guy is gone. How many games did he play in for what price…lol

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