View Full Version : Receiver Horn refuses pay cut, Saints release him

03-01-2007, 06:23 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints released four-time Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn on Thursday, saying Horn asked to be let go after the Saints asked him to take a pay cut.

Joe Horn
Wide Receiver
New Orleans Saints

Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
37 679 4 18.4 72 171

"Joe really wanted to see where his value is around the league for his services," general manager Mickey Loomis said. "With as much as Joe has meant to the Saints and to New Orleans, we don't want to impede his desire to do so, and we have kept the door open for him to return to our team."

Horn, who was the most frequent spokesman for the players during their Katrina-enforced exile during the 2005 season, had caught 523 passes for 7,622 yards and scored a team-record 50 touchdowns since coming to New Orleans as a free agent in 2000. He ranks second in club history in catches and yardage, and he is the team's all-time leader in 100-yard receiving games with 27.

Horn, who turned 35 in January, missed the Saints' last four regular season games in 2006 and both playoff games because of a groin injury.

He had 37 catches for 679 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season.

In May 2005, Horn signed a six-year extension that would have paid him about $42 million for the life of the contract. Next season, he was to be paid about $4.45 million and receive a $1 million roster bonus later this month.

Horn was by far the Saints' best receiver during his first five seasons with the team. In 2004, he had 1,399 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.

In 2005, however, a hamstring injury caused his numbers to drop dramatically to 654 yards receiving and one touchdown. It was the first of two injury-plagued seasons the yielded numbers far below what he had put up earlier in the decade.

He still demonstrated flashes of his old self, catching touchdowns of 14 and 48 yards in the Saints dramatic 27-24 victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 15. But while he was injured, other, younger receivers emerged, including surprising rookie Marques Colston (1,038 yards, 8 TDs) and third-year former LSU star Devery Henderson (745 yards, 5 TDs).

Rookie running back Reggie Bush also was used as a receiver, both out of the backfield and lining up in the slot and led the Saints in receptions with 88 for 742 yards and two touchdowns.

The Saints also got solid contributions from third-year receiver Terrance Copper (385 yards, 3 TDs), whose playing time increased with Horn's injury and whom Saints coach Sean Payton liked when the two were with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004 and 2005.

Still, Payton spoke highly of Horn upon the receiver's release from the team.

"Joe's numbers speak for themselves, and throughout his career here he has been everything an NFL player should be in the community," Payton said. "He holds a special place to our fans because of his involvement in the city and his passion on the field. Decisions of this type arent easy, and we understand his desire to see what his value may be with other teams."

Horn was immensely popular among fans in New Orleans, not just because of his play, but also because of his outgoing, down-to-earth demeanor. He visited displaced New Orleans residents in shelters after Katrina. His No. 87 jersey was omnipresent during games in the Louisiana Superdome, and fans hung banners honoring him from upper deck facades around the stadium.

He had his own radio show. And he was a regular at New Orleans Hornets basketball games, sitting a couple rows from the court and often one of the last people out of the stadium because he had taken time to speak with fans who approached him to say hello, talk Saints and wish him well for the upcoming season.

When the season ended, Horn said he wanted to remain in New Orleans and believed he could continue to play at a high level, but said from the outset that he did not intend to agree to a pay cut -- at least not without testing the free agent market first.

Horn was not immediately available to comment on his release Thursday evening. Calls to his agent's office, cell phone and home were not immediately returned.

03-01-2007, 06:25 PM

03-01-2007, 06:28 PM
one of Carls good draft picks.... heh.

Skip Towne
03-01-2007, 06:29 PM
Old guy looking for a big payday.

03-01-2007, 06:58 PM
If he'll take the pay cut, sure.

I don't know if there are many teams willing to fork out what he wants, but in this FA market, one of them probably will.

03-01-2007, 06:59 PM
Maybe he could call someone and tell them about it.

03-01-2007, 07:17 PM
Why bring in a 35 year old WR when we need to get younger?

Stupid to even think of it.

Sam Hall
03-01-2007, 08:14 PM
The Saints should use that money to sign a receiving threat at tight end and a corner. Think about Brees' numbers next season if he has a dangerous tight end. They need another corner because Fred Thomas blows.

03-01-2007, 08:29 PM
We should take him. Make him take a pay cut, but throw Danni in as a bonus. He goes for that sort of thing.