If the Saints weren’t a legitimate threat to win the NFC before today, they most certainly will be after today.
In a move that will have the "Who Dat" nation downing celebratory Abita beers for the next week, the Saints acquired TE Jeremy Shockey from the Giants for second and fifth round pick in next year’s draft.
This deal has been sitting on the table for months—since draft day to be exact. The Saints had originally offered the Giants second and fifth round picks for Shockey, but New York rejected the deal thinking they could receive more for the four-time Pro Bowler.
After waiting three months for a better deal, the Giants gave up hope and dealt the disgruntled tight end to the open arms of the New Orleans Saints for the same return offered in April.
What a huge pickup for the Black-and-Gold. Tight end has been a position in flux on the Saints' roster for as long as I can remember. You’d have to go back to the days of Cam Cleeland and Wesley Walls to find the last time a Saints’ tight end was worth more than a three day old bologna sandwich.
With Shockey, the Saints' offense takes on an entirely new dimension. His pass catching abilities will open up all kinds of opportunities in the middle of the field for plays to be made.
Defenses will be forced to put at least a linebacker or safety (or possibly both) on him at all times which frees up room over the middle for crossing routes and delayed draw running plays.
Sean Payton has been pinning for a quality pass catcher at tight end since he arrived three years ago. Now he’s got a guy who’s been one of the best in the league over the past six seasons.
And Payton is familiar with Shockey’s abilities, having coached him in his rookie season with the Giants—a season in which the former Miami Hurricane made his first Pro Bowl.
As for his well documented attitude problems, Shockey does have the potential to stir up trouble now and then. While in New York, he earned the reputation as a party animal who was never more than two feet away from his next vodka drink.
New Orleans, admittedly, will offer Shockey loads of tempting opportunities for mischief. But you’ve got to wonder if the 28-year-old has put his partying days behind him.
Did the Giants’ Super Bowl win without his help serve to sober him up a little? Does he now realize that he may not be as irreplaceable as he once was?
I think that’s why he wanted a change of scenery so badly; so he could start fresh with a new team and prove to people that he still is one of the best tight ends in the game.
In the end, the Saints made a huge move with the addition of Shockey. If he keeps his head on straight in the Big Easy he’ll dramatically improve the Saints' offense.
A tight end is what the Saints needed and a Pro Bowl tight end is what they got. Who Dat?!