Though the Indianapolis Colts decided to let tight end Coby Fleener walk in free agency and though Fleener later questioned the effort of some teammates last season, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't seem to harbor any hard feelings toward Fleener, rather wishing him the best.
Speaking with members of the media this morning at the NFL owner's meetings, Pagano echoed the thoughts that many others have had: that Coby Fleener will find success with the New Orleans Saints. With Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and that offense, tight ends have done well historically, and Fleener is a talented receiving tight end.
"I'm very happy for Coby and the contract that he got and the new team that he's with," Pagano said, according to The Advocate's Nick Underhill. "He's with a great organization and a great coach in Sean Payton and he'll flourish in that system down there."
Pagano also said that the decision to keep Dwayne Allen over Fleener was simply a result of the nature of today's NFL. Teams only have "a certain amount of resources," Pagano said, adding that the Colts would have loved to keep everyone but that it just wasn't feasible. "I'm happy for Coby," Pagano said. "I'm happy we got Dwayne back. He's a great combo guy, gives you versatility there. He's one of the better blocking tight ends in the league."
Allen seemed to have been the team's target all along, and the Colts re-signed him to a four-year, $29.4 million deal. Fleener, meanwhile, signed with the Saints on a five-year, $36 million deal. Shortly after signing with the Saints, Fleener made some comments that questioned the effort of some of his former teammates from the rough 2015 season. Pagano talked with Fleener about those comments and came to the conclusion that it was a misunderstanding. "I don't think his intentions, the way it was written, was anything close to that," Pagano said, according to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder.
Overall, Chuck Pagano has no ill will toward Coby Fleener and realizes that letting him walk was simply a result of today's NFL. Fleener seems to have found a good situation with the Saints, however, and Pagano thinks he'll do quite well there.