The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have released veteran New Orleans Saints right tackle Jon Stinchcomb. The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Stinchcomb, 6-5, 315 pounds, was selected by the Saints in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft with the 37th overall selection. An NFC Pro Bowl selection in 2009 and the team's starting right tackle in Super Bowl XLIV, the 31-year old had been a fixture on the right side of the offensive line since 2006 (Saints' Head Coach Sean Payton's first season). Stinchcomb had also authored a streak of 80 consecutive starts, dating back to the start of the '06 season.
"We as an organization have the utmost respect for Jon and all that he has worked so hard to accomplish during his career," said Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. "He's exemplified professionalism, both on the field and in our community and been an outstanding player, teammate and mentor to many of our younger players. We respect the efforts and professionalism he brought to our team."
"Jon has epitomized what we have tried to accomplish here with our program," Head Coach Sean Payton stated following practice. "This was a decision that we spent a lot of time on and not something taken lightly at all. I can tell you that everyone in this organization has a ton of respect for him. Again, it was a difficult decision. He's been a big part of the past five seasons here."
Stinchcomb, whose older brother Matt was a 1999 first-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders, endured challenges early in his career with the Saints. As a rookie in 2003 he appeared in six games, primarily on special teams and in reserve action. In 2004 he saw reserve action in just four games while being inactive 12 other times. His third season in the league (2005), witnessed him being lost for the season after rupturing his right patella tendon during training camp. Yet through perseverance and with a new offensive system in place, Stinchcomb earned the trust of Payton and the Saints' offensive staff and earned the starting right tackle spot.
With Stinchcomb in the lineup, the Saints produced one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL the past five seasons, leading the league in yards per game three-of-the-past five seasons and finishing first in scoring in both 2008 and 2009. Stinchcomb owned the distinction of having played in 90 regular season games, the second-highest total of any active Saints player, trailing DE Will Smith's 109 games entering the 2011 season. Stinchcomb also owned six starts in postseason play, including two NFC Championship games and the aforementioned Super Bowl XLIV.
The native of Lilburn, Ga. graduated from the University of Georgia. Not only a standout performer on the football field, Stinchcomb has been an outstanding contributor in the community, as well. In 2008 he was named the Saints' "Man of the Year' for his tireless efforts in working with numerous different outreach programs, ranging from making regular visits to area hospitals and schools, while also organizing local camps for children and organizing an annual holiday bike giveaway.
As a collegian at Georgia, Stinchcomb started 34-of-37 games he appeared in and earned All-Academic honors in 2001-2002. He also was named a Walter Camp Foundation All-American (2002), All-SEC and one of six recipients for the National Football Foundation scholarship. On the prep level at Parkview High School in his hometown of Lilburn, Georgia, Stinchcomb was a USA Today and Parade All-American.