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Who Will Sign Jeremy Shockey?

It was announced that the New Orleans Saints had released TE Jeremy Shockey. Saints fans are not surprised by the move based on his high price tag (over $4 million in 2011), the emergence of TE Jimmy Graham, and his frequent injuries. But the veteran still showed he could play in 2010. Football Outsiders ranked him No. 23 last season, which placed him ahead of a couple of better regarded tight ends in Heath Miller and Dustin Keller.

The Saints didn't indicate that they were trying to work out a salary reduction. Instead they thanked him for his contributions over the past three seasons. He wasn't their starter anymore, and they didn't want to pay him like one. He acknowledged that the NFL is a business, and he probably wants to start (and get paid like a starter) for another team.

That's not going to happen for him in Green Bay, but I considered the notion of having the Packers sign him anyway. He wouldn't play ahead of TE Jermichael Finley, but since Finley often plays like a wide receiver, they could coexist together. At times, Shockey and Finley would cause a major headache for opposing defenses as they try and cover two players who can beat their linebackers downfield, and physically overpower their smaller defensive backs. But the Packers would rely on him for a lot of blocking, and that's probably not his game. Since he'd probably do more blocking than receiving, he wouldn't be much better than I expect TE Andrew Quarless will be in 2011.

As I said above, I'm not actually considering whether the Packers would sign him. It's not going to happen. While it's unlikely that he'll ever play in another Pro Bowl, he got my attention as a free agent who can still offer some value to the right team.