In the team’s first big move of the offseason, the Saints released tight end Jeremy Shockey on Tuesday, which likely ended his three-year tenure in New Orleans.
Shockey, who is known for setting records on the football field and causing controversy off of him, was likely released because the Saints did not want to pay the $4.5 million salary that he was due next year. His production had slowly declined during his time in New Orleans, and he missed three games in 2010 and was limited to 408 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2010.
While his release was likely monetarily related, it also speaks to the team’s confidence in tight ends David Thomas and Jimmy Graham. Graham, the Saints third-round draft pick in 2010, really shined down the stretch and the Saints are counting on him to do big things for them in the future. The Saints’ press release made it seem like they would not pursue bringing Shockey back under a different contract next season, his release means that the team will likely target a tight end in the draft or free agency to fill a backup role.
Overall, Shockey’s tenure in New Orleans was a good one after his productive but disastrous time in New York. Not to eulogize him too much, but he will always be remembered by Saints fans for catching the fourth quarter touchdown pass in the Super Bowl that gave the Saints the lead for good in the game.