AFR: Saints forced to address tight end, sign Fleener - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

AFR: Saints forced to address tight end, sign Fleener

Coby Fleener (Flickr Commons, Angie Six) Coby Fleener (Flickr Commons, Angie Six)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Tight end was likely not priority number one for the Saints this free agency. But it quickly became that when Baltimore swooped in and signed Ben Watson away. Thus, they were forced to adjust and jump into the day one ruckus with a signing of their own.

Coby Fleener is now Drew Brees’ new toy as an athletic, pass catching tight end. When I look at what he does best, I think it’s a great fit. This offense is predicated on the players that can run the seam route. It’s Brees’ most effective pass. With Watson and Marques Colston both gone, they had no one on their roster that could run it. Fleener officially gives them that player.  

Yes, there’s some concern about the contract Fleener signed but don’t be fooled by the numbers. The reported five-year, $36 million deal seems high but not totally unreasonable. At $7.2 million a season, he ranks 12th in the NFL among tight ends in average salary. Plus, the reported cap hit is only $2.6 million for 2016. As he usually does, Mickey Loomis structured the contract with a larger signing bonus and lower cap hits in the front of the deal and higher cap hits at the back end of the contract. 

It was not the ideal scenario for the Saints to be in, but one they absolutely had to address. I understand the apprehension by the fan base, but in this case, I don't think this will be money poorly spent. The bottom line is with Watson gone, tight end became a major hole for the Saints. By signing Fleener, they moved quickly to fill it.

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