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Saints officially cut TE Coby Fleener

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Report: Saints release TE Coby Fleener

The Saints have moved on from Coby Fleener

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(Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)

Coby Fleener has largely been a disappointment since signing a massive five-year, $36 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. The former second-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts was one of the highest-paid tight ends in football over the past two seasons but caught only 72 passes in that time for 926 yards and five touchdowns. So even though their prospective replacement, Josh Hill, caught only 16 passes last season, the Saints decided that Fleener wasn't worth keeping around. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the Saints are releasing Fleener into free agency.

The move carries a staggering $8.2 million in dead money if it is not designated as a post-June 1st release, according to Spotrac, but if they do designate it as a post-June 1st move, that falls to $5 million in dead money for the 2018 season. That money, along with a newly freed roster spot, may be enough to bring star free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant to New Orleans. While the Saints already have Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith and plenty of other talents at the position, they have not been shy about their desire to add more pass-catching talent to Drew Brees' arsenal this offseason. They tried and failed to reunite Brees with Jimmy Graham, and then they whiffed on Jordy Nelson after the Packers released him following their victory in the Graham sweepstakes. Bryant would be a very nice consolation prize.

It is not fully clear who will play tight end for the Saints next season, as Hill has only 67 career catches in five seasons and Michael Hoomanawanui has even fewer as he is known as more of a blocker, and they did not select a tight end in April's NFL Draft. But the Saints have a history of producing strong tight end play out of thin air. Graham was a former basketball player who they converted into a superstar, and Ben Watson had been a backup for several years before the Saints turned him into a 74-catch player in 2015. Sean Payton knows how to coach tight ends.

It just isn't fully clear where he is going to get one. The Saints have pushed all of their chips to the center of the table for 2018, trading next season's first-round pick in order to secure pass-rusher Marcus Davenport. They would not have released Fleener if they didn't view it as a way to enhance their chances in 2018 in some way, so whether it's Bryant, Antonio Gates or someone else, fans should have every reason to expect another move to follow this one.

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I've seen that we've been linked to Dez Bryant. If its a team friendly 1 year prove it deal i wouldnt mind but Coach is gonna have to sit him down and explain how things are done here and that he won't be the Man in this offense. I think it could work if he wants to come here. If he allows CJ to work with him I think he can help us get a championship.

nolaspe and Kinsey like this

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I do not under any circumstances want Dez. He yells on the sideline evrey time a drive stales and he wasn't thrown the ball. Yes he has been a lot better off the field, but he is slower, not a good route runner, and not a team first player. I would rather give a rookie or current free agent the roster spot. 

nolaspe likes this

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If his head is in the game, he is one of the top WRs in the league.  Problem is, not often is his head screwed on properly.  I do believe that winning cures all and he could be a huge addition and be that big target that we have wanted for Brees since Graham left.  

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They have to have something in the works with the TE position to do this and take the money hit. If it was just a roster spot it would have been easier to cut someone else. 

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There's a rumor that Fleener still had not passed concussion protocol. I believe he was cut with a "failed physical" designation as well, lending credence to that notion.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000931791/article/roundup-saints-release-tight-end-coby-fleener

Tight end Coby Fleener's time in New Orleans has come to a close.

The Saints released Fleener on Monday with a failed physical designation. The team classified Fleener as a post-June 1 cut, which will save them $3 million in salary cap space.

Edited by louisb

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I really thought this was a good signing and had high hopes for a great QB-TE connection.  I think the Team made a good move, just didn't work out.  I like the fact they gave him going away money and hopefully used human compassion and not just business decision.  ( I think it helps land FA's in the future for our GM / Coach to do the right thing)

 

Bonckers and The gun slinger like this

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I agree Uptown not to mention we have always paid out well when a player aerned the deal. We did the same thing with Strief, going into last year we gave a pay raise that did not help the team at all. Granted before he was injured, and before Ram took over but we take care of our own. 

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