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Breaking NFL News: TE Coby Fleener signs with New Orleans Saints

After losing Ben Watson earlier in the free agent frenzy the New Orleans Saints acted fast, plugging the hole with former Indianapolis Colt


After losing Ben Watson earlier in the free agent frenzy the New Orleans Saints acted fast, plugging the hole with former Indianapolis Colt Coby Fleener. Fleener, a 2nd round pick in 2012, never really met his expectations in Indianapolis, where his collegiate relationship with Andrew Luck didn’t flourish nearly as much as the Colts had hoped it would when they drafted him. After being truly surpassed this season by Dwayne Allen it’s no surprise that the Colts focused on bringing Allen back and letting Fleener walk, but he looks to have landed himself in a very nice situation. Reports are that his contract is a 5 year deal worth $36 million. Just how much of that is guaranteed or merely incentives is unknown at the moment but it is still an awfully big investment in someone who’s best receiving season was just 51 catches and 774 yards in 2014. Sure, that included 8 touchdowns but in the open field Fleener has produced very little compared to the contract the Saints have offered him. So, why offer this kind of deal to Fleener? Especially when the Saints are not flush with cap space at the moment. Well the answer comes with the kind of offense the Saints run. Sean Payton and Drew Brees have always targeted the tight end heavily. Last season it was Ben Watson, who at 34 had a career year with 74 catches, 825 yards and 6 touchdown. Before him it was Jimmy Graham, who posted multiple 1,200+ yard, 10+ touchdown seasons. And back in 2009 when they won the Super Bowl it was Jeremy Shockey hauling in passes. This offense requires a good tight end to function properly, so in that context gunning for Coby Fleener makes some sense. The problem is that he can be so inconsistent, particularly when it comes to catching. As more details come out I’m sure there will be some early exits built in for the Saints, but at the moment it looks like a risky deal from a team who can’t afford a high priced miss.

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

Breaking NFL News: TE Coby Fleener signs with New Orleans Saints

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