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Saints release Coby Fleener, per reports

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Ben Volin of the Boston Globe had it first.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 19:  Coby Fleener #82 of the New Orleans  Saints runs past Ryan Kerrigan #91 of Washington during  overtime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 19: Coby Fleener #82 of the New Orleans Saints runs past Ryan Kerrigan #91 of Washington during overtime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints have released tight end Coby Fleener per Boston Globe journalist Ben Volin, which the Advocate’s Nick Underhill later confirmed:

Fleener’s stint in New Orleans ends with just 72 catches and 926 yards gained in 27 games over the last two years. His rapport as a big target for quarterback Drew Brees never seemed to develop, and he was eventually displaced on the depth chart by extant tight ends Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui. Benjamin Watson returned to the team on a one-year contract earlier this spring after two years with the Baltimore Ravens. The Saints were likely unable to release Fleener earlier this offseason due to him not being able to pass a physical after suffering his fifth serious concussion in the last few years.

Update: NFL insider Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Saints will release Fleener with a post-June 1st designation, which will free up $3-million in salary cap space for 2018. The Saints currently have just $3.6-million in cap space, and will not receive that $3-million until June 2nd. They may use that cap space to sign their rookie draft class, but it would be great if some of it went towards an early extension for running back Mark Ingram - who is scheduled to hit free agency next spring as the franchise leader in rushing yards and touchdowns.

The roster move comes ahead of this weekend’s rookie minicamp practices, which will see tryouts from undrafted rookies like Deon Yelder (Western Kentucky), Cameron Serigne (Wake Forest), and Nate Wozniak (Minnesota). As of this writing, the Saints do not have any veteran tight ends signed through the 2019 season. It seems safe to say they’ll be looking high and low for help at the position.