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John DeShazier: Fans will fondly remember Lance Moore's New Orleans Saints career

Wide receiver was a key contributor under coach Sean Payton

As Lance Moore departed the New Orleans Saints organization Friday, New Orleans fans fondly could recall a Saints career that was championship-caliber.

Moore's severance is part of the ever-growing restraints of the salary cap and the demands that the team create economic room to address free agency and the NFL draft.

Moore, who made the team as an undrafted free agent rookie, was a key member of the 2009 team that won Super Bowl XLIV. What Saints fan doesn't remember his critical two-point conversion play against the Colts?

"Lance Moore came to us as a rookie and over nine years he made an outstanding contribution to our franchise," Saints Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson said in a release issued by the team Friday afternoon. "He constantly worked hard to get better, showed great enthusiasm for the game and played a big role in our success. He also made significant contributions off the field to our community. Lance's performance has earned the respect of our entire organization and fans and we thank him for everything."

"Just like some of the decisions we made on the defensive side of the ball a few weeks ago, this move today is just as difficult," Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis said in the release. "Lance was very important to our productivity on offense and our success as a team overall. He joined us in the middle of the 2005 season and progressed from the practice squad to becoming one of the most productive receivers in the history of our franchise and helping us win a Super Bowl and reach the postseason five times. You couldn't ask for more from Lance both on and off the field and we wish him the best of luck."

"Lance Moore made a significant contribution to our team's success," Saints Coach Sean Payton said in the release. "While his production on paper is obvious, it only tells half the story. Lance came to us an undrafted rookie who went to NFL Europe and spent time on our practice squad. He went on to produce outstanding results on the field for us as a result of his work ethic, reliability and commitment to get better every day. He's been one of the pillars of what we have built here as an organization."

Moore originally went to training camp with Cleveland in 2005 before being waived and signed by the Saints to the practice squad that season. He was the last member of the roster to pre-date Payton, who was hired in 2006.

Moore, who became synonymous with outstanding hands and eye-catching end zone dances after touchdowns, caught 37 passes for 457 yards and two touchdowns last season. It raised his career totals to 346 receptions for 4,281 yards and 38 touchdowns, placing him third on the franchise career receptions list and fifth on the ladder for career touchdown receptions.

His best statistical season was 2012 when he caught 65 passes for a career-high 1,041 yards and six touchdowns.

His career should be celebrated by Saints fans everywhere.

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