Saints Move on from Tight Ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill

New Orleans voids the contracts of two veteran tight ends.
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The New Orleans Saints announced the organization had voided the contracts of tight ends Josh Hill and Jared Cook. Cook’s move was expected, but Hill's release is somewhat surprising.

Oct 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Saints tight end Jared Cook (87) catches a touchdown over Carolina safety Tre Boston (33). Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY 

Oct 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Saints tight end Jared Cook (87) catches a touchdown over Carolina safety Tre Boston (33). Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY 

Cook, who turns 34 on April 7, has been with the Saints for the last two years of his twelve-year career. He caught 43 passes for 705 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019, earning Pro Bowl honors. His numbers were down in 2020, despite several injuries to the team's receiving corps, catching 37 passes for 504 yards and 7 touchdowns and losing a critical fumble in a playoff loss to Tampa Bay.

Hill, 30, has been with New Orleans for all of his eight-year NFL career. He has 116 career receptions for 1,071 yards and 15 touchdowns. He had 8 receptions for 46 yards and a score in 14 games last season, the lowest since his rookie year. Not known for his receiving production, Hill was one of the league's most respected blockers at the position.

The release of Cook and Hill leaves 24-Yr old Adam Trautman as the only tight end on the roster. Trautman, a 3rd round draft choice last season, had 15 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown as a rookie.

New Orleans could bring Hill back on a less expensive contract, a move they could make with several veterans. 

Dec 29, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Saints tight end Josh Hill (89) with the ball as Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter (56). Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY 

Dec 29, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Saints tight end Josh Hill (89) with the ball as Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter (56). Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY 

With these moves, the restructuring of DT David Onyemata and QB Drew Brees' contracts and the release of offensive lineman Nick Easton, the Saints have cut into their salary cap deficit by nearly $41 million. The NFL's free-agent signing period officially begins on March 17.

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