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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Updated: March 13, 6:09 AM ET
Darren Sproles wants to be released

By Mike Triplett
ESPN.com

Darren Sproles would rather be released than traded by the New Orleans Saints, the running back told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Wednesday.

But Sproles seems resigned to the fact the decision won't be left in his hands.

"I want to get released. I don't want to be traded," Sproles told Anderson. "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."

The Saints decided to trade, instead of release, Sproles because there was so much interest from other teams when he was shopped as trade bait, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. One of the teams making a push to trade for Sproles is the Washington Redskins, another source told Schefter.

Sproles' wife, Michel, took to Instagram to voice her displeasure with the Saints.

"I am so disappointed in the Saints organization & the way they are treating my husband," she posted. "I understand this is a brutal business but when u have a good guy who works hard & does a lot for the community u would think they would show a little more respect."

There is no official deadline for trading Sproles, but the Saints could use the salary-cap space after agreeing to a six-year contract Tuesday with former Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd. The deal, a league source told ESPN, is worth $54 million, with $28 million guaranteed.

Darren Sproles
Veteran Darren Sproles may be out in New Orleans after three seasons as the Saints work on a trade.

Sproles, 30, is due $3.5 million in salary and bonuses in the final year of his contract. All of that can be saved against the Saints' cap.

The team decided that Sproles was expendable in part because of the emergence of young running backs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson.

As ESPN first reported last week, the Saints shopped both Sproles and veteran running back Pierre Thomas. They ultimately decided to keep Thomas, agreeing to a two-year extension Wednesday.

Sproles was one of the Saints' most dynamic offensive weapons the past three seasons after he signed as a free agent from the San Diego Chargers, with a total of 1,067 rushing yards, 1,981 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. He set an NFL single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,696 in 2011.

However, Sproles played in only about 33 percent of the Saints' offensive snaps during the 15 games in which he was active last season. And his numbers in 2013 (220 rushing yards, 71 receptions for 604 yards, 4 total touchdowns) were slightly down from past seasons.