Saints Release TE Josh Hill

The Saints’ tight end group will boast a new look next season. With Jared Cook likely to depart as a free agent, the Saints also made the move Wednesday to cut veteran Josh Hill, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Still more than $60MM over the projected 2021 salary cap, the Saints will save $2.5MM by jettisoning Hill. One season remained on Hill’s deal. This move comes after the Saints adjusted David Onyemata‘s contract to create $4MM-plus in cap space.

Hill has been with the Saints for eight seasons, having only played in New Orleans as a pro. The Saints gave him a three-year, $8.85MM extension late in the 2018 season. New Orleans then signed Cook in 2019. His contract included a 2021 void year, pointing the veteran elsewhere after a two-year Saints stay.

The Saints continually brought in veteran receiving tight ends — from Coby Fleener to Ben Watson to Cook — while keeping Hill, who began his career when Jimmy Graham was still with the Saints. While Hill did not factor in much as a pass catcher last season, he remained a high-end run blocker. Pro Football Focus graded Hill as its No. 4 overall run-blocking tight end in 2020.

Hill, who will turn 31 in May, played in 117 Saints games and started 61 of those. Barring a reunion down the line, Hill will finish with 116 catches, 1,017 yards and 15 TDs as a Saint.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Saints Release TE Josh Hill

  1. bradthebluefish

    Initially thought this was Taysom Hill getting cut which would’ve been eye-popping.

    • Considering how far over the cap they are, I would expect at minimum they will restructure Taysom.

        • cka2nd

          I don’t know why the Saints bothered to cut him given that he was already scheduled to be a free agent, but they also cut Cook. Odd, that.

          • MileHighFan

            Probably responding to a request from the players’ agents to allow them more time to negotiate with others. It costs the Saints nothing and it promotes good will.

      • gcg27

        Hard to really extend him with what he makes when they aren’t even sure he’s starting QB … They are just really going to have to do some cutting of decent players. You can only restructure and extend so much.. For this reason I’m shocked Pittsburgh kept Rothleisberger..: shoulda found out if Rudolph was starter material for future in his last year before free agency

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