Fleener, an unrestricted free agent, still has symptoms from the concussion he suffered Week 12 last season, Don Banks of The Athletic reports.
Released by New Orleans in May, the 29-year-old tight end hopes to continue his career but isn't sure if/when he'll be healthy enough to do so. It won't come as any surprise if he ultimately retires, considering he's been diagnosed with five concussions from playing football and has accrued more than $23 million in career earnings, per OverTheCap. That said, Fleener's agent has heard from teams with interest in signing the tight end if he can eventually pass the NFL's concussion protocol.
Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed Saturday that Fleener is still working through the process of getting cleared from the concussion he suffered in November.
Fleener said the November concussion -- which ultimately landed him on injured reserve -- was the fifth he had suffered in his career. The Saints released him on May 7 just two seasons into a five-year, $36 million contract, and while the concussion history may have played a role in the decision, his lack of production in 2017 (22 catches in 11 games) likely was the larger factor. Fleener, who will turn 30 years old in September, still has $3.4 million in guaranteed money remaining on his contract, so he'll receive some form of payment in 2018 even if he isn't healthy enough to suit up for a team. He shouldn't have too much trouble finding a new club if he regains his health and wants to continue his career.
Fleener was released by the Saints on Monday, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports.
Reports surfaced earlier this offseason that Fleener was likely on his way out, and now it becomes official, as the 29-year-old tight end will hit the open market after two seasons with the Saints. His 2017 campaign was cut short due to a concussion, which contained him to 11 games and a meager 22-295-2 stat line. It was his lowest output since his rookie season with the Colts in 2012. Teams will surely be cautious when giving Fleener a look this offseason, as the concussion he suffered last season was already the fifth of his career.
Fleener still figures to find himself on the roster bubble this summer, Larry Holder of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Fleener is entering the third season of a five-year, $36 million contract, with 54 percent of his $6.4 million base salary for 2018 guaranteed. The Saints can still free up some cap space if they release him after June 1, at which point the dead-money charge would be split between 2018 and 2019. The team likely will give Fleener one last chance to prove himself during training camp, as 37-year-old Ben Watson was the only major offseason addition at tight end. Fleener will turn 30 in September and is looking to bounce back from the concussion that ended his 2017 campaign after 11 games and 22 catches. He said at the time that it was the fifth concussion of his career.
Fleener (concussion) may be released this offseason, Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports.
Fleener has been a massive disappointment through two seasons of a five-year, $36 million contract, managing only 72 catches and five touchdowns in 27 games for the Saints. His release would be a no-brainer move if not for the fact that $3.4 million of his $6.3 million salary for 2018 is guaranteed, per overthecap.com. The Saints nonetheless figure to angle for a pay cut or release, though they may have to wait for the tight end to pass a physical after he finished 2017 on injured reserve due to a concussion. Given his inconsistent performance and worrisome concussion history, the 29-year-old tight end likely would be met with tepid interest on the open market.
Fleener (concussion) was placed on injured reserve by the Saints on Saturday, Herbie Teope of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Fleener suffered the fifth (at least) concussion of his career in last Sunday's loss to the Rams and had already been ruled out Week 13, but the team isn't taking any chances. The 29-year-old will finish the 2017 season with 22 receptions for 295 yards. The Saints brought in Garrett Griffin to bolster their tight end depth with Fleener gone for the year.
Fleener (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Panthers.
Fleener's troubling history with concussions -- he said that the one he suffered in the Week 12 loss to the Rams was the fifth of his career -- always made it rather unlikely that he would be able to avoid any missed time. Indeed, after being held out of practice throughout the week and failing to make much progress through the NFL's protocol, Fleener will be sidelined for the first time this season, paving the way for Josh Hill to serve as the Saints' starting tight end Sunday.
Fleener (concussion) isn't in line to play Sunday against the Panthers, a source informed Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Saints have yet to formally rule Fleener out for Week 13, but that seems inevitable with the tight end still in the concussion protocol after taking a hard hit to the head in last week's loss to the Rams. Fleener revealed after the contest that it was the fifth diagnosed concussion he's sustained during his career, so given that troubling history, it's certainly possibly he could be staring at a multi-game absence. With Fleener out of commission for at least the game versus Carolina, look for Josh Hill to serve as the team's clear top tight end for that contest.
Fleener (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday.
Fleener said the concussion he suffered in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Rams was the fifth of his career. In light of that information, it would be a surprise if Fleener is available Week 13 against Carolina. An absence would leave a few more targets and snaps for Josh Hill, who has mostly worked ahead of Fleener in recent games with the exception of obvious passing situations.
Fleener said the concussion he suffered in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Rams was the fifth of his career, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
It's unclear if Fleener is including his time at Stanford or merely referring to his six seasons in the NFL. Either way, it's a scary number, though not an overly surprising one for a 29-year-old player at one of the league's most injury-prone positions. Fleener has already seen his role scaled back this season, but a Week 13 absence nonetheless would free up some extra snaps and targets for fellow tight end Josh Hill.
Fleener suffered a concussion during Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Rams, Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports.
Fleener came through, seemingly out of nowhere, with 91 yards the previous week in a 34-31 overtime win over the Redskins. He was back to his usual level of involvement during Sunday's loss, however, catching just one of two targets for eight yards prior to exiting due to a concussion in the second half. Should Fleener miss time, Josh Hill would pick up extra snaps and possibly targets.
Fleener caught each of his five targets for 91 yards in Sunday's 34-31 win over the Redskins.
Fleener took full advantage as the Saints were forced to play from behind in the second half for the first time since Week 2. After playing 21 of fewer snaps in five straight games, he logged 36 in Sunday's contest, surpassing Josh Hill (31) for the first time since Week 4. While the nature of his part-time role can't be denied, Fleener may again find the circumstances favorable in a Week 12 road game against the Rams. He's still impossible to trust.
Fleener did not record a catch against the Bills.
A week after totaling his most yards since Week 1, Fleener posted a goose egg Sunday, receiving only one target in the blowout victory. Fleener played only 17 offensive snaps, compared to 47 and 43 snaps for fellow tight ends Michael Hoomanawaui and Josh Hill, respectively. The Saints' tight-end trio, however, combined for just two catches for two yards. A once fruitful position for fantasy owners, the tight end spot in New Orleans can be actively avoided until further notice.
Fleener caught two passes on two targets for 46 yards in Sunday's win against the Buccaneers.
Although Josh Hill was announced as the Saints' starting tight end ahead of Fleener in advance of the game, Hill failed to see a single target in the contest. Fleener, meanwhile, had his highest yardage total since Week 1 -- though it's worth noting that most of his yards came on a broken play where he was uncovered in the middle of the field for a 33-yard gain. The talented tight end still has just eight total receptions in his last six games and should probably be left on the waiver wire in most leagues.
Josh Hill was announced as the Saints' starting tight end ahead of Fleener in advance of Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Larry Holder of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
The move down the depth chart probably won't do much to change Fleener's already bleak fantasy outlook, as Hill had earned more snaps of the two in each of the past three games. During that stretch, Fleener hauled in three of five targets for 21 yards, numbers that wouldn't give him much appeal even in two-tight end leagues.
Fleener caught one pass for a one-yard loss in Sunday's 20-12 win against the Bears.
Fleener saw just one target and played only 16 of 61 offensive snaps (26 percent) in the game. He was relatively productive Weeks 1 and 2, snagging eight total passes and scoring two garbage-time touchdowns, but since then, however, the tight end has managed just six receptions in his last five games combined. Fleener has recently been playing only about a quarter of the offensive snaps and continues to cede playing time to fellow tight ends Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui. Relegated to a bit role and showing no signs of producing with limited reps, Fleener probably does not belong on fantasy rosters in most leagues.
Fleener caught two of three targets for 22 yards in Sunday's 26-17 win over Green Bay.
Fleener had a disappointing first season in New Orleans in 2016 but looked to be putting that behind him early this season with eight catches and two scores through the first two weeks of the season. He has just five catches in the four games since. The obvious consequence of playing in an offense as diversified as New Orleans' is that there simply aren't enough passes to go around a lot of the time. Fleener's woes go beyond that. The $36 million man played just 20 snaps on Sunday, fewer than both Josh Hill (41) and Michael Hoomanawanui (43).
Fleener failed to record a catch on just one target in Sunday's 52-38 win against the Lions.
With the Saints leaning heavily on the running game, Fleener was limited to just 18 offensive snaps (25 percent). Meanwhile, Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui -- both of whom are superior blockers -- played 48 and 41 snaps, respectively. It was a strange game, and the Saints are unlikely to be nursing frequent 30-point leads, but it's become clear that even in a best-case scenario, Fleener is a part-time player in the Saints offense. He can safely be left on the waiver wire in most leagues.
Fleener caught two passes (on four targets) for 21 yards in Sunday's 20-0 win against the Dolphins.
After scoring garbage-time touchdowns in consecutive weeks to begin the year, Fleener has been quiet the last two games. There's a chance that Fleener could see a bump in playing time after fellow tight end Josh Hill, with whom Fleener typically splits snaps, suffered a concussion in Week 4, but it won't happen in Week 5, as the Saints are on bye.
Fleener caught one pass on one target for 21 yards in Sunday's win against the Panthers.
After managing garbage-time scores in both of the first two weeks, Fleener was held to one catch in Carolina. Leading by double-digits most of the afternoon, the Saints leaned heavily on the running game, resulting in Fleener playing only 14 of 58 offensive snaps (24 percent). Meanwhile, fellow tight ends Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui -- both of whom are superior blockers to Fleener -- played 37 snaps and 28 snaps, respectively. While Fleener should remain the preferred pass-catching tight end in the Saints offense, his potential playing-time limitations could continue to make him a shaky fantasy option.