Saints retain tight end Josh Hill after matching Bears offer

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Josh Hill will remain in the Big Easy after the New Orleans Saints announced that they have matched the offer sheet extended by the Chicago Bears.

Since the New Orleans Saints extended a $1.671 million qualifying offer to Josh Hill two weeks ago, they had five days to match the offer sheet from the Chicago Bears, who offered him a three-year contract on Tuesday.

After signing tight end Coby Fleener in free agency and re-signing Michael Hoomanawanui after Benjamin Watson left to join the Baltimore Ravens, the position isn’t the biggest of worries anymore.  However, now that Josh Hill is secured, the team is set with good depth.  The Saints still have Jack Tabb, Chris Manhertz, and RaShaun Allen as well.

Hill, who was a hot topic last offseason, never broke out of his cage in 2015 like a lot of people were expecting.  Following the Jimmy Graham trade, it was expected the Saints would insert Hill into the starting role, but Ben Watson obviously had other plans for the team after establishing career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

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However, the Saints staff still has high hopes for Josh Hill, who showed flashes during his second year in New Orleans in 2014, impressing players, fans, and coaches.  However, he was not very effective in 2015, tallying just 16 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games (seven starts).

After the Bears extended the offer sheet to Hill, it was expected by many that his days in New Orleans were coming to an end, but they exercised their right of first refusal on Chicago’s offer to keep him down on the bayou.

With no cap space according to the NFLPA, the Saints have to be making some sort of adjustments on current contracts behind closed doors.  The team also announced a three-year deal for linebacker Craig Robertson on Friday.  Where is this money coming from?  We should know soon enough.

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