Jeremy Shockey: Five Reasons the New Orleans Saints No Longer Need His Talents

Jamal Wilburg@JWilburgCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2011

Jeremy Shockey: Five Reasons The New Orleans Saints No Longer Need His Talents

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  Jeremy Shockey #88 of the New Orleans Saints is injured after a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Jeremy Shockey was released by the New Orleans Saints. While some may see the decision by the Saints as a bad move, it was actually a very smart player transaction. Some sports fans and observers will see Shockey’s name and due to its familiarity assume the Saints have cut a top 10 NFL tight end. However, he is far from the player that he once was.

    Shockey addressed his fans via his Twitter and Facebook pages saying, “Always will remember my time in New Orleans. What a city, you all welcomed me like one of your own, and we had a great run. Onto the next chapter, the Deep Unknown.”

    Here are five reasons cutting Shockey makes sense for the Saints

5. He Costs More Than He Is Worth

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Jeremy Shockey #88 of the New Orleans Saints smiles during warm ups against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Shockey was due to make $4.7 million in 2011. His base salary of $4.2 million with an additional $500,000 when he arrived at training camp. By releasing him now the Saints owe him absolutely nothing in 2011 and will also face no penalties for releasing him.

    This will give the team flexibility to sign rookies or other free agents to help fill other needs on the roster.

4. He Is Getting Old

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    NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 24:  Jeremy Shockey #88 of the New Orleans Saints runs on the field during player introductions before playing against the Cleveland Browns at the Louisiana Superdome on October 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Browns defeate
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Jeremy Shockey will be turning 31 prior to the start of the 2011 NFL Season. Unlike Tony Gonzalez there is little thought that he can be a dominant pass catching tight end this late in his career.

3. His Productivity Has Been Mediocre

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    NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 03:  Tight end Jeremy Shockey #88 of the New Orleans Saints drops a pass against Charles Godfrey #30 of the Carolina Panthers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 3, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty I
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    If numbers don't lie, Jeremy Shockey isn't an elite pass catching NFL tight end. Shockey hasn't had a season with more than 50 receptions since his last season with New York in 2007. That was also the last season that he compiled over 600 yards receiving.

    You would have to go back to 2006 to find a season where Shockey caught more than three touchdown passes. For a tight end known more for his receiving abilities these numbers are quite pedestrian.

2. He Cannot Stay Healthy

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    GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Injured tight end Jeremy Shockey of the New York Giants uses crutches to walk out to the field before Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizo
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Jeremy Shockey hasn't played a single full season for the New Orleans Saints including three missed games in 2010. He has been injured in all three seasons since his departure from New York.

    Again, he is only getting older and will not be able to recover from injuries as fast as younger players can. After three seasons without a full schedule of production, the Saints probably felt it was time to part ways with Shockey.

1. He Has Already Been Replaced

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  Teammates Drew Brees #9 and Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    One man's loss is another man's treasure. The release of Jeremy Shockey should clear the starting spot for Jimmy Graham.

    Graham was drafted by the Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he compiled an impressive resume that included 31 receptions, 356 yards, and five touchdowns. Statistically, he should be able to easily fill if not exceed the void in production.

    Ironically, both Graham and Shockey played their college football at the University of Miami.