What a difference a day makes.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the team is actively shopping a pair of offensive centerpieces in running back Pierre Thomas and wide receiver Lance Moore. The Saints are even open to trading scatback Darren Sproles, according to the report.
It all links back to the team's dodgy financial outlook heading into free agency, with New Orleans resting just $1.5 million under the cap.
The Saints have been talking with Thomas for weeks about the running back's future with the club. Trimming his $2.9 million salary would leave no dead money, so the seven-year pro remains a candidate for release if a pay cut or trade can't be worked out.
Moore's release would shave $2.5 million off the cap, but trading him would save the Saints his full $5 million price tag for 2014. We'd be surprised if the 30-year-old pass catcher generates much interest coming off his worst season in four years.
Sproles is a juicy trade target for teams in need of an elusive receiver out of the backfield who can turn a screen pass into a bomb blast. He's been a super-productive, electric target for Drew Brees, but Sproles is set to cost $4.25 million for a team desperately looking around for loose change.
These are big-name players for the Saints. Last year at this time, New Orleans was backfield-heavy with Chris Ivory in the ranks alongside Thomas, Sproles and Mark Ingram. It's especially hard to imagine this offense without a guy like Thomas, who's served as the team's most reliable runner for years.
All the players above have a decent chance to stick around if they agree to pay reductions. If they don't, a flurry of trades or notable cuts appears imminent in the Big Easy. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Moore sent out a cryptic tweet Friday morning in which he said goodbye to the city where he played for nine seasons.
Thank you New Orleans for an amazing nine years. Who Dat Nation, the best on earth!!!â Lance Moore (@LanceMoore16) March 7, 2014