Fleener had spent the last two seasons with the Saints after signing a five-year deal prior to the 2016 season. According to Spotrac, the team will now have $8.2 million of dead cap, a high number considering his $8 million cap hit for 2018.
However, he held a $18.1 million cap hit in 2019-20 combined if he remained with the team.
As Mike Chappell of Fox59 noted, Fleener only received $14.6 million of his original $36 million deal over the last two seasons.
The Saints also didn't get what they were hoping for in Fleener, who totaled just 926 yards and five touchdowns across the last two seasons. His 2017 season ended after just 11 games due to a concussion, but he struggled before the injury while exclusively coming off the bench.
The 29-year-old had 22 catches for 295 yards last season, while Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui earned the majority of playing time at tight end. According to Pro Football Reference, Fleener only played 25.94 percent of offensive snaps for the Saints in 2017.
New Orleans re-acquired Benjamin Watson in the offseason from the Ravens.
Fleener joined the team in 2016 after spending four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. While he often split time with Dwayne Allen, he showed a lot of promise, including in 2014 when he had 774 yards and eight touchdowns on a team that went to the AFC Championship Game.
Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to replicate this success, and he could find a tough time finding much of a market in free agency after last year's struggles.