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hilton signs

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Updated: April 25, 2006, 2:32 PM ET Hilton returns to Saints for one more seasonBy Len Pasquarelli ESPN.com Three-year veteran Zach Hilton, who emerged in 2005 as the New Orleans Saints' top receiving threat at tight end, has re-signed with ...

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Old 04-25-2006, 01:41 PM   #1
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hilton signs

Updated: April 25, 2006, 2:32 PM ET
Hilton returns to Saints for one more seasonBy Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com


Three-year veteran Zach Hilton, who emerged in 2005 as the New Orleans Saints' top receiving threat at tight end, has re-signed with the team for another season.




Hilton
Hilton, 25, signed the one-year restricted free agent qualifying offer worth $721,600. Unless he signs an extension, Hilton will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring.



The former North Carolina standout emerged as a reliable receiver last season, catching 35 passes for 396 yards and one touchdown. He played in 15 games and started eight, replacing Ernie Conwell in the lineup after the veteran was lost to a knee injury, and became a key target.



Over the final eight games of the season, Hilton posted 32 receptions for 373 yards. His 35 receptions for the season were the third-most on the New Orleans roster. Hilton had the fourth-most receptions among tight ends with eight or fewer starts in 2005.



With the arrival of first-year coach Sean Payton, who historically has made the tight end an important part of his offense, Hilton's role could increase dramatically in 2006. For now, Conwell remains the starter, but the 10-year veteran has been plagued by injuries and hasn't played a full season in three years. In addition, Hilton has improved as a blocker.



The New Orleans tight end depth chart is crowded, with veterans such as Shad Meier and Nate Lawrie, and Mark Campbell, who was signed this spring as an unrestricted free agent. But of the group, Hilton, given his size (6-feet-8, 268 pounds) and burgeoning skills, arguably has the most upside.



A two-year starter in college, Hilton was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, made the active roster that season, then spent much of 2004 on the New Orleans practice squad before impressing coaches and carving out a bigger role last season. He played in just three games his first two seasons in the league and did not register a reception.


Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com






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Old 04-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #2
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RE: hilton signs

Glad to hear it.....another good season and maybe we can re-structure for long-term!! Nice Job Hilton....keep up the good work!!
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Old 04-25-2006, 03:19 PM   #3
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RE: hilton signs

I wish that they'd have signed him for an extension now. He's done everything that the Saints organization has asked and delivered. We can't keep developing talent that bolts as soon as they get good.
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Old 04-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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RE: hilton signs

Well said xan!
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:06 PM   #5
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Well, the last project the Saints had a TE...he got his big payday and then what happened? Do you all remember Boo Williams...undrafted free agent...practice squad player...comes on strong at the end of the year...next year he gets his big payday...lost all focus and was on his way to being released before he blew out his knee...and then got released anyway...I think the Saints should hold off on Hilton...he isnt quite deserving of a big payday yet.
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:42 PM   #6
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I'm glad he'll be back. I still think he has one more year to prove before we sign him long-term.
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:57 PM   #7
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i am glad he will be back too. i hope he has anothe rgood year and we sign him long term
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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I was wondering when they were gonna break down and sign him.
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