Saints make tough decision to release Jon Stinchcomb

The New Orleans Saints released veteran right tackle Jon Stinchcomb today, clearing the way for Zach Strief or Charles Brown to claim the job.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, it was a difficult move for general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton as both men held the second-round pick from 2003 in high regard. Stinchcomb was the longest-tenured player on the roster.

"He's gonna be on the 'Wall of Fame' that we have down our hallway, and I think he should be in the Saints' Hall of Fame one day," Loomis said. "He's meant a lot to our organization, for a number of reasons, including his play on the field."

Strief figures to be the leading candidate for the job. He re-signed with the Saints after receiving at least one offer from another NFC club. Brown was a second-round pick a year ago, but Strief has experience playing in the system.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Stinchcomb. He was a Pro Bowl choice in 2009 but played through a knee issue last season and his performance struggled.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune