Saints dump tight end David Thomas

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The New Orleans Saints have a long way to go before they can clear up salary-cap issues for this season.

They made a small dent in things today when they released a pair of players – tight end David Thomas and cornerback Johnny Patrick.

Thomas had been a solid backup to Jimmy Graham the past two seasons, a reliable No. 2 option who was effective in the red zone. But he was due a base salary of $1.5 million in 2013 and had a cap number of $2.2 million, according to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Thomas, 29, caught 11 passes last season but four went for touchdowns.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make with David today,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. “Since he came here in 2009, he's been an important part of our team, both with his performance on the field and with the outstanding veteran leadership he's provided for us.”

Patrick was let go after two seasons. He was a third-round draft pick in 2011 but didn’t pan out. Axing him doesn’t provide much cap relief but does signal the club is moving on.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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