According to FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer, and confirmed by several other sources, the New Orleans Saints have cut ties with tight end Jeremy Shockey.
“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, per Adam Caplan. “These decisions are never easy to make, and we wish him the best in the future.”
Shockey was due about $4.2 million in base salary next year and an extra $500,000 in bonuses — a number far too big for a tight end on the downside of his career.
Another motivating factor behind the move is Jimmy Graham and just how highly the Saints think of him. According to people close to the Saints, the team believes Graham, a third-round pick in last year’s draft, is a star in the making and could be a Pro Bowl player as early as next season.
Caplan believes that’s a fair assessment.
“Based on what I saw from Graham during Senior Bowl Week of 2010,” Caplan writes, “he might be the most fluid athlete at the tight end position other than Jermichael Finley in the NFL.”
Something else few are talking about as a motivation behind this move is Shockey and his personality. I’ve never worked closely to Shockey, but I’ve always gotten the impression that he’s a punk with an over-inflated view of himself.
One guy mentioning this is Saints beat writer for the Times-Picayune Jeff Duncan:
“Shockey was so difficult to deal with, most reporters just avoided him altogether,” Duncan said via Twitter. “Even Saints staffers hated having to deal with him.”
Looks like my impression is shared and isn’t too far off.