Coby Fleener is now available, and these three teams look like ideal landing spots.
After catching just 22 passes in 11 games last season, tight end Coby Fleener was released by the New Orleans Saints on Monday. They’ll clear $3 million in salary cap space if the move is designated as a post-June 1 cut, while still carrying over $5 million in dead money for this year. Otherwise, there will be $8.2 million in dead money for the Saints to carry this year.
Fleener ended last season on IR due to a concussion, which became the fifth concussion of his career after he confirmed four previous concussions related to football.
But Fleener had at least 50 receptions in four straight seasons prior to last year, with the Indianapolis Colts and the Saints. He was a college teammate of Andrew Luck’s at Stanford, and was taken by the Colts in the second round of the same 2012 draft that yielded Luck.
Fleener was a late cut, perhaps since the Saints were awaiting medical clearance before doing so. Assuming he’s good to go, a new team shouldn’t be hard to find. But these three teams have some level of notable need at tight end, and thus should be at the front of the line for Fleener.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jesse James and Vance McDonald combined for 57 regular season receptions last year as Pittsburgh’s top two tight ends, and no notable additions have been made at the position this offseason.
James could be worthy of a bigger opportunity in 2018. But after Ben Roethlisberger’s public lament of the team drafting Mason Rudolph as his successor, instead of someone who could theoretically help the team win this year, the Steelers may be moved to appease their quarterback by adding another weapon.
The Steelers need some balance to a passing game that centers on Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. As purely a receiver, who offers nothing as a blocker, Fleener can help that situation.