NFL: Shockey sent to Saints
NEW ORLEANS ó Jeremy Shockey caught more passes for more yards as a rookie ó the one season when New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was his offensive coordinator in New York ó than any other.
The Giants, meanwhile, proved they didn’t need their disgruntled star tight end to pull off one of the most stunning playoff runs in NFL history, winning three postseason contests on the road and then beating previously undefeated New England in the Super Bowl ó all while the injured Shockey watched from afar.
So the Giants sought to do both themselves and Shockey a favor on Monday, cutting ties with the four-time Pro Bowl selection in a deal the Saints had been trying to pull off for months.
The Giants will get second- and fifth-round picks in the 2009 draft in exchange for sending Shockey to the team he wanted to play for most. The trade must be approved by the league and is contingent on Shockey passing a physical.
“I have had a relationship with coach Payton and I appreciate what he has done as a head coach,” Shockey said in a statement released by the Saints. “The Saints have a lot of weapons starting with Drew Brees and I look forward to joining my teammates at training camp. This will be a fun year.”
Shockey caught 74 passes for 894 yards and was named Rookie of the Year in 2002, his lone season working with Payton, whom he’ll be reunited with this week.
The Saints report to training camp in Jackson, Miss., on Wednesday, when Shockey will join several other tight ends on New Orleans’ roster, including last year’s starter, Eric Johnson, along with Billy Miller and Mark Campbell.
Shockey, who spent six seasons with the Giants, broke his leg against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 16.
He is known for his receiving ability more than his blocking, and was unhappy even before the injury. Once hurt, he didn’t like the fact that much was made of the Giants winning with rookie Kevin Boss in his place.
“Jeremy brought great energy to the game every time he stepped on the field,” said Giants team president John Mara, son of the late Wellington Mara, a longtime owner of the team.