New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that tight end Jeremy Shockey was released. The team appeared ready to move onto the next chapter and go with promising second-year pro and 2010 third-round draft choice Jimmy Graham.

 



The Saints decided the best way to pursue a second championship would be part ways with the 30-year-old, nine-year veteran. Specifically with one season and $4.2 million in base salary left on his contract.

 



Last season, Shockey made 41 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games.



Shockey made a decisive touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Saints Super Bowl victory over Colts in 2010 and head coach Sean Payton knows he was a valuable part of their recent success.

 

Acquired by the New York Giants in a trade prior to the season in 2008, Shockey spent three mediocre seasons in New Orleans while suffering through injuries.


Acquired by the New York Giants in a trade prior to the season in 2008, Shockey spent three mediocre seasons in New Orleans while suffering through injuries.



With the Giants, he was seen as a distraction to the team but very popular and productive coming out of Miami as a first round selection in 2002. As a rookie he had enormous season statistically catching 74 balls for 894 yards with two touchdowns. In his nine year career Shockey has 5,688 yards with 33 touchdowns.

 

He joined New Orleans and Coach Payton with a good attitude and positive outlook and let go of interruptions by moving away from reporters and the negative publicity.

On the Saints for the past three seasons, Shockey did make an enormous impact on the team at the tight end position. He had 139 catches for six touchdowns and started in 34 out of the 38 games.

 

 

Jimmy Graham was mentored by Shockey, for the most part, last season. Graham step into the role at tight end quite well and now he is ready to hold the reins at tight end for the Saints—now that Shockey's been released.

 

Graham completed his rookie season with 31 catches and five touchdowns. He has adjusted to the teams' offense and has made major development strides with quarterback Drew Brees too.

 

Shockey was a great teammate and became a mentor to the younger players and may become a asset on any team that may need a tight end. With recent injuries he still may have a couple of years in the tank, but if not you may see Shockey headed to retirement instead. 

 

Written By Oren Shiri