INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 11, 2016) – With the Indianapolis Colts in his rearview mirror, Coby Fleener was uncharacteristically candid regarding some of his former teammates.
After signing a five-year, $36 million free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints, the veteran tight end criticized the manner with which some Colts handled adversity last season when starting quarterback Andrew missed nine games with an assortment of injuries.
“I think it’s one of those situations where it really reveals character,’’ Fleener said Friday on a conference call with Saints media. “The guys that kept fighting through it – knowing that we may not have our quarterback on the field but we still have a chance to win the game – those are the guys you want kind of in your corner.
“And the other guys, it becomes pretty apparent that they’re along for the ride.’’
The Colts finished at 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Fleener is going from Luck to Drew Brees, a decision he described as a “no-brainer.’’
He admitted there was interest from other teams, “but once the Saints hopped into it – and obviously I couldn’t tell them this – but that was real exciting to me. “The way that they use the tight end, have an outstanding quarterback in Drew Brees, to me it’s a no-brainer.’’
Colts’ general manager Ryan Grigson said prior to the beginning of free agency the team probably couldn’t retain both Fleener and Dwayne Allen. They retained Allen with a four-year, $29.4 million contract.
During an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, Fleener said it was clear the Colts considered Allen their main priority.
“The Colts’ lack of interest and the Saints’ interest made going to New Orleans an easy choice,’’ he said.
Fleener’s frankness was in stark contrast to his interaction with the Indianapolis media. While always approachable, he seldom offered anything resembling controversial comments.