Saints captain, center Olin Kreutz chooses to leave team

Saints starting center Olin Kreutz has decided to leave the team, Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune reports.

According to Kreutz’s agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, the 34-year-old center no longer feels the passion for the game and does not want to just collect a paycheck.

“He decided, ‘If I can’t bring that same passion every day to work, I’m not gonna just sit here and collect a paycheck,’” Bartelstein said. “That’s the way he is. Olin’s a little different than most guys. People say all the time that it’s not about the money. That’s really how it is with him. It never has been.”Prior to signing a one-year, $2 million contract with the Saints, Kreutz had contemplated retirement after failing to come an agreement with the Chicago Bears, where Kreutz had spent his entire 13-year career. Kreutz’s contract included no signing bonus and a $2 million base salary, which has $1.294 million remaining on the final 11 weeks of the season.

Kreutz was elected a captain of the Saints this season and has started four of six games, missing weeks four and five with a knee injury. Though he’s healthy, Kreutz has not participated in practice for Sunday night’s contest at the Superdome with the Colts.

With the six-time Pro Bowl, four-time All-Pro selection leaving, 2010 fifth-round pick center Matt Tennant or Brian De La Puente will have the luxury of snapping the pigskin to Drew Brees against Indianapolis.

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