As first reported by FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, the New Orleans Saints informed TE Jeremy Shockey that they were going to terminate his contract. The team announced the move later Tuesday.
The move to release the veteran tight end shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Shockey was on the final year of his contract and was due just over $4.2 million in base salary along with a $500,000 reporting bonus for the 2011 season, a source confirmed.
With Shockey's release, that leaves just two tight ends on the team's 80-man roster.
“I’d like to thank Jeremy for the contributions he made to our team during his time in New Orleans,” Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis said. “These decisions are never easy to make, and we wish him the best in the future.”
The Saints, league sources said, believe TE Jimmy Graham, who the team selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, will be a star. Based on what I saw from Graham during Senior Bowl Week of 2010, he might be the most fluid athlete at the tight end position other than Jermichael Finley in the NFL.
Shockey, who turns 31 in August, is on the downside of his career based on his injury history and regression in production.
“Jeremy played an important role in helping our team bring a Super Bowl championship to New Orleans,” said head coach Sean Payton. “He contributed to the success of our offense, both as a pass-catcher and run blocker, and we’re appreciative of his efforts.”
Shockey was acquired by the Saints in a trade with the New York Giants prior to the 2008 season and played three seasons in New Orleans, catching 139 passes for 1,460 yards with six touchdowns in 38 regular season games, 34 of them starts.
The nine-year veteran also played in four postseason games for the Saints, totaling nine receptions for 82 yards with two touchdowns, including a two-yard scoring grab to give the Saints a fourth-quarter lead in Super Bowl XLIV. The University of Miami product had 41 receptions for 408 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games played in 2010, a season that saw him catch his 500th career pass.
Shockey still should be able to find a significant role with another team for 30-40 plays per game.