The Saints are gambling a little bit. They dont want to necessarily keep someone who doesn't work in their offense or who doesn't want to be there. Plus picking up fresh talent for less pay gives you a chance to groom that player and use the money freed up (provided your not over the cap) to bring in some other players. Although i think the saints have a fire sale going. From what i read the saints have a plan in place and the reasons for letting people go are part of this plan.
I am the JOBBER TO THE STARS. You better remember that.
OK, so I did some checking into the "games we lost due to dropped passes or fumbles" comment and here is what I found out:
In 2001, the New Orleans Saints lost 9 games. Ricky Williams fumbled in 3 of those losses.
Week 9: San Francisco 28, New Orleans 27
You could possibly lay this one on Ricky, but I don't think he made them lose in a "Bill Buckner" kind of way. He fumbled in this game in the 4th quarter with the Saints leading 24-21, giving the 49ers the ball at the NO 30. The Niners scored to make it 28-24 with a little more than 11 minutes to go. The Saints' moved the ball down to the SF 8, but took 2 penalties to make it 3rd-and-goal from the 18, then Aaron Brooks threw and incompletion and they had to kick a field goal with 7:56 to go. The Saints actually got the ball back with 5:58 to play but couldn't get the ball past their own 25 and were forced to punt to SF with 3:39 to go, down by 1 point.
The 49ers got the ball on their own 28, then moved it all the way to the Saints 3 (!) before taking a knee. The defense could've helped out a bit, by...I dunno, STOPPING THE NINERS on 3rd-and-13 instead of giving up a 14 yard pass, on which, as far as I know, Ricky Williams was neither rushing Jeff Garcia nor covering Terrell Owens.
Week 16: Washington 40, New Orleans 10
Ricky fumbled in the 4th quarter with the Saints already down 30-10, so surely you can't blame *this* one on him.
Week 17: San Francisco 38, New Orleans 0
A debacle. Ricky fumbles three times. Aaron Brooks throw four picks and fumbles once. Let's look at the fumbles.
1st Quarter: SF 0, NO 0. Saints ball at their own 41. Ricky runs for 14 yards (YAY!), for 4 (yay) on the next play, then fumbles (BOO!). SF ball on their own 44. Next play: Terrell Owens catches a 56-yard touchdown pass. Again, as far as I know, Ricky is not playing defense for the Saints at this point.
2nd quarter: SF 14, NO 0. Ricky fumbles at the Saints 28. Niners score in 5 plays. Could've held 'em to a field goal I suppose. Not good.
4th quarter: SF 38, NO 0. Ricky bobbles a lateral at the 20 and chases it back to the end zone before falling on it himself at the 3. You've seen the play on SportsCenter, I'm sure.
I wish I would have found that Ricky turned a 10-6 team into a 7-9 team singlehandedly, since I hate the Dolphins so much, but I think the Dolphins got a steal on this one.
Anecdotally, it seems that most of the potential Pro Bowl players that are Super Bowl teams beg off from the game. I'm not a big fan of playing on the same field, in case they tear it up or it rains or what not.