Saints shake up offensive line

A bit of surprising news out of New Orleans. The Saints have released veteran right tackle Jon Stinchcomb.

StinchcombStinchcombCoach Sean Payton said the move was made to allow Zach Strief and Charles Brown to compete for the starting job as the Saints attempt to get younger at the position. Stinchcomb had a strong 2009 season, but scouts said he slumped in 2010 and he later revealed he was playing with a leg injury for most of the season.

There’s no reason to believe the Saints had any ulterior motives with this move. Payton must really want to get younger because the Saints aren’t helping themselves financially or with the salary cap on this move.

Stinchcomb was scheduled to have a $4.775 cap figure and his $2.25 million base salary is guaranteed. Stinchcomb has $7.295 in pro-rated bonuses figures and the Saints will have to absorb that full amount, although some of it will be spread into 2012.

The Saints already have had some significant turnover on their offensive line this preseason. Center Jonathan Goodwin left as a free agent. The team brought in veteran Olin Kreutz, who will be the short-term answer until second-year pro Matt Tennant is ready to step in.