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New Orleans Saints release veteran RB Latavius Murray

New Orleans Saints release veteran RB Latavius Murray
New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray, shown Nov. 24, 2019, refused to take a pay cut, leading to his release. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Just days before their regular-season opener against the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints released veteran running back Latavius Murray.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis announced the roster move Tuesday. The team also confirmed the signing of former Atlanta Falcons standout cornerback Desmond Trufant.

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League sources told ESPN and NFL Media that New Orleans asked Murray to take a pay cut, but the tailback refused.

Murray was set to earn about $3.15 million in salary and bonuses this season. That cap number, along with the emergence of undrafted second-year running back Tony Jones Jr., led to the Saints' decision to release him.

The 31-year-old Murray served as a valuable backup behind Saints star Alvin Kamara over the past two seasons after signing a four-year, $14.4 million contract with the team in 2019. Murray notched 1,293 rushing yards, 411 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns during that span.

Murray started his career with the then-Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings, making the Pro Bowl in 2015. He has recorded 4,991 rushing yards, 1,294 receiving yards and 45 total touchdowns over his seven-year NFL tenure.

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The Saints also have veterans Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery as backfield options, though Montgomery primarily plays wide receiver.

New Orleans is scheduled to begin its 2021 regular season against the Packers on Sept. 12 at the Jacksonville Jaguars' TIAA Bank Field. The Saints -- temporarily displaced due to Hurricane Ida -- are considered the home team in the matchup.

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