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Saints keep Josh Hill by matching Bears offer sheet

Josh Hill AP

Even after making a splash in free agency by signing Coby Fleener, the Saints are apparently insistent on being deep at tight end.

The team announced they matched the Bears offer sheet to restricted free agent tight end Josh Hill, keeping him in place. The three-year deal will keep him in place through the 2018 season.

The Saints would have gotten no compensation if they hadn’t matched the Bears’ offer, since Hill was undrafted and was tendered at the lowest level.

He caught 16 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns as a complement to veteran Benjamin Watson (who left in free agency for Baltimore).

But after signing Fleener to a five-year, $36 million contract and bringing back Michael Hoomanawanui, the Saints now have a full depth chart at the position.

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33 Responses to “Saints keep Josh Hill by matching Bears offer sheet”
  1. saints737 says: Mar 25, 2016 4:19 PM

    How are the Saints able to make all of these moves (Fairley, Hill, Robertson, Laurenitis etc) with virtually no cap space???

    Am I missing something?

  2. unbiasednfltruth says: Mar 25, 2016 4:21 PM

    The saints had no money available how is this possible? Are they trading their whole draft away?

  3. bassplucker says: Mar 25, 2016 4:35 PM

    Damn. Did not want to see the Bears have to burn a draft pick on TE with such a weak class at the position and other holes to fill. Props to Pace for trying, though.

  4. lightcleric says: Mar 25, 2016 4:43 PM

    They can manage this because only Top 51 contracts of a team count during the offseason. Browner is also a post-June 1 designation so there’s that to consider too.

  5. mrlaloosh says: Mar 25, 2016 4:45 PM

    It’s slight of hand. Deal with it.

  6. genericcommenter says: Mar 25, 2016 4:52 PM

    I was going to something about how odd the James Laurinaitis contract secrecy is but I now see those figures have been released. I was wondering if that had something to do with the phantom cap money.

  7. Straight Cash Homie says: Mar 25, 2016 4:53 PM

    Can’t really trade draft picks when you’re signing free agents and resigning your own players which is what this is with Hill.

  8. maestro1899 says: Mar 25, 2016 4:55 PM

    I thought this team was having cap issues. How can they give Coby Fleener $7M+ and Josh Hill a pretty decent-sized deal.

    And neither of them can block, so they still need a blocking specialist…

  9. Reggie's Bush says: Mar 25, 2016 4:57 PM

    Every year saints get bashed for having no cap space, but they always get FA deals (even if they weren’t the right ones i.e. Any DBs stemming back from Jason David to Browner and Byrd)

  10. orndorf2 says: Mar 25, 2016 5:28 PM

    Shows how much fans think they know. The Saints are always being laughed at because they’re up against the cap….yet they are always able to make moves while all of these other teams have cap space for days and make no moves. Perhaps you guys were wrong and Loomis knows what he’s doing. Stop worrying about cap space and Drew Bree’s contract, dead money….they know what they’re doing……does your teams front office??

  11. briggsisbrokeagain says: Mar 25, 2016 5:36 PM

    Oh well bears, plan c coming up.

  12. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 25, 2016 5:44 PM

    I don’t know how the Saints can continue to sign these players considering the cap hell they’re in.
    Kudos to Mickey Loomis for working the numbers but unfortunately for them all of this maneuvering hasn’t yielded positive results the last two years. (Although they did miss with some FA acquisitions such as Byrd, Browner, and Spiller).

  13. flyspe says: Mar 25, 2016 5:50 PM

    Good news for saints fans is that they kind of get a new team every year. Cut the bad contracts then bring in new ones.

  14. vikesr4reel says: Mar 25, 2016 5:55 PM

    Bears are just the disgrace of the NFC North behind the Pack

  15. rick1599 says: Mar 25, 2016 5:56 PM

    That’s a pretty sweet deal for a guy that was out played by a 36 year old tight end last year, time to step it up! Who Dat!!

  16. boltergeist19 says: Mar 25, 2016 6:02 PM

    Let’s keep me all. How this team ever will compete again with .50 cents in cap space I will never know. Why did he really-sign an extension to coach this team with a dead arm QB and a horrible defense. He could have had his choice anywhere and jerah jones would have paid him a ransom when he fires ginger this year.

  17. mdd913 says: Mar 25, 2016 6:22 PM

    but the Saints have no cap space waaaahhhh waaahhhh waaaahhhh

  18. billmiller1991 says: Mar 25, 2016 6:27 PM

    There goes the season. No team can make the playoffs without Josh Hill at TE.

  19. jmscooby says: Mar 25, 2016 6:34 PM

    Is it just me, or are the Saints and the Falcons two of the least physical teams in the league year after year? Especially on the defensive side of the ball.
    I don’t enjoy watching either of these teams play personally. It’s boring and painful. Sure, I can just shut the game off to limit that future post, but I also don’t get to chose the game aired in my region. I live in NE, but I’m a Bears fan. I try to stay objective and root for a good game, win or loss, regardless of the teams playing. I hope these two teams listed above, and all future play improves. There should be a tackling workshop given at every combine for all players to attend. Hell, ask Dungy, Harrison, Faulk, and Gruden to attend or host a N/S/E/W pro day/regional combine/workshop/whatever you want to call it. Teach them tackling, injury prevention, life skills… It’s just my opinion, and I’m giving it honestly. Appreciate any feedback. Happy Easter.

  20. billsfan1 says: Mar 25, 2016 6:37 PM

    how much fans think they know. The Saints are always being laughed at because they’re up against the cap….yet they are always able to make moves while all of these other teams have cap space for days and make no moves. Perhaps you guys were wrong and Loomis knows what he’s doing. Stop worrying about cap space and Drew Bree’s contract, dead money….they know what they’re doing……does your teams front office??

    lol yep the only problem is they sign all these crap players . Good for them: and good for you for being defensive about it

  21. boyofzimmer says: Mar 25, 2016 6:43 PM

    An overrated undrafted TE that caught a whopping 16 passes last year. Saints are awful. Pace knew they would match and is just laughing at their overpay!

  22. RogerGoodell✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says: Mar 25, 2016 6:48 PM

    The saints really do not have any cap space but, they are banking on renegotiating Drew Brees’ contract and 30 million cap hit. They will basically kick the can further down until Brees retires and has a 50 million cap hit when they go into full rebuild mode. The reality is that they have no chance to win the division against the Panthers and that another 7-9 or 8-8 season is on the horizon.

  23. hrmlss says: Mar 25, 2016 6:55 PM

    They have better tight-ends than my Vikings.

  24. ariani1985 says: Mar 25, 2016 6:57 PM

    Brees> erins rogers fecal playoff performance!

  25. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 25, 2016 7:10 PM

    I remember being here when the Saints won the Super Bowl. Their fans were on here 24/7 beating their chests.

    Fast forward seven years, and every single personnel decision they have made since has been a complete and utter disaster and they are farther from another championship as they have ever been.

    Where are those posters now?

  26. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 25, 2016 7:11 PM

    RogerGoodell✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:
    Mar 25, 2016 6:48 PM
    The saints really do not have any cap space but, they are banking on renegotiating Drew Brees’ contract and 30 million cap hit. They will basically kick the can further down until Brees retires and has a 50 million cap hit when they go into full rebuild mode.
    =====

    If they are kicking the can down the road, why are they over paying for not one but two tight ends?

  27. ionlyrootforthewinningteam says: Mar 25, 2016 8:21 PM

    I wonder if Desmond Clark is available.

  28. whodat5150 says: Mar 25, 2016 8:37 PM

    lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Mar 25, 2016 7:10 PM

    I remember being here when the Saints won the Super Bowl. Their fans were on here 24/7 beating their chests.

    Fast forward seven years, and every single personnel decision they have made since has been a complete and utter disaster and they are farther from another championship as they have ever been.

    Where are those posters now?

    ——————————

    I’m still here and I was not on this or any other forum talking about how great we would be for years to come. I never thought we were vastly superior to the other teams that made the playoffs in 2009. Or those that barely missed the playoffs that year.

  29. icebowler says: Mar 25, 2016 10:30 PM

    vikesr4reel says:
    Mar 25, 2016 5:55 PM

    Bears are just the disgrace of the NFC North behind the Pack
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Love your handle vikesr4… I agree, the Viks will be “reeling” this year! They’re definitely not for “real”!!

  30. RogerGoodell✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says: Mar 25, 2016 10:43 PM

    If they are kicking the can down the road, why are they over paying for not one but two tight ends?
    =========

    They are kicking the cap hit down the road.
    Fleener’s cap hit this year is 2.4M, 7.5M next year, 8M in year 3, 9M in year 4, etc… Brees Cap hit is 30M this year, they will renegotiate it to make room for their draft picks and likely have Brees’ cap hit around 40M in 2-3 years. They are backloading deals and trying to win now. Unfortunately, signing Fleener won’t put them over the top, there’s no way they take the division from Carolina any time soon. They need to blow the team up, get something for Brees, and rebuild.

  31. miamisaint3255 says: Mar 25, 2016 10:55 PM

    RogerGoodell✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:
    Mar 25, 2016 6:48 PM
    The saints really do not have any cap space but, they are banking on renegotiating Drew Brees’ contract and 30 million cap hit. They will basically kick the can further down until Brees retires and has a 50 million cap hit when they go into full rebuild mode.

    Saints will be over $60 million under the cap next offseason (may be in better position than any other team) when a bunch of dead money comes off the books. That is the reality. Not sure why the media keeps harping erroneously on saints being in cap hell for years to come.

    The reality is the young Saints will be much improved this year but far from a championship contender, but then next offseason will be able to add a few star free agent pieces and contend for the following few years, the end of the Brees window (may be another glory years run).

  32. 504in860 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:46 PM

    lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Mar 25, 2016 7:10 PM

    I remember being here when the Saints won the Super Bowl. Their fans were on here 24/7 beating their chests.

    Fast forward seven years, and every single personnel decision they have made since has been a complete and utter disaster and they are farther from another championship as they have ever been.
    ——————————————————

    This couldn’t be more untrue, (person who fails to mention their favorite team).

  33. 504in860 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:47 PM

    billsfan1 says:
    Mar 25, 2016 6:37 PM

    lol yep the only problem is they sign all these crap players . Good for them: and good for you for being defensive about it
    ——————————————————-

    You’re a Bills fan. You really have no room to talk about any other franchise.

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