New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has a lot of respect for New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey. He was in New York when the Giants made Shockey a first-round pick.
Which is part of the reason Payton tread lightly when Shockey's name came up during his press conference on Saturday to talk about Sedrick Ellis, the Saints' first-round pick.
"(Saints GM) Mickey (Loomis) and I talked about this and really in all fairness to our team and league protocol, I just don't think it's appropriate for us to even visit about it," Payton said.
That was about whether the Saints would talk about the potential deal.
But did the deal come close to happening? And can it be resurrected?
Newsday reported that the Saints were believed to have offered the Giants their second-round pick — the one they used to select cornerback Tracy Porter out of Indiana — plus a fifth or a sixth in 2009.
The Giants couldn't pull the trigger.
Giants GM Jerry Reese wasn't really in the mood to talk about the potential deal Saturday night.
"Can we talk about our draft pick?" Reese told the Newark Star-Ledger. "Let's talk about Kenny Phillips, okay? Jeremy Shockey is our starting tight end. I'm going to leave it at that. At this point, it'd be a big surprise if Shockey is traded."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin actually stopped short of declaring the deal dead on Saturday night.
"Despite all that's been said and what have you, as I stand here right now, he's our starting tight end," Coughlin told Newsday.
So what would it take to pry Shockey away now? It might take less than what the Saints offered on Saturday, especially if the situation between Shockey and Giants deteriorates further. He is believed to have expressed his dissatisfaction with his role in the offense through his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Should it get worse, the Giants might be more inclined to take what they can get, like the Raiders did last year with Randy Moss, who was traded for a fourth-round pick.
The Saints could wait a little longer and see if the price for Shockey comes down. It would likely cost them a higher pick in 2009 — either a first or a second — but they would probably have to give up only one selection instead of the two they offered on Saturday.
Bucsblitz.com asked NFL Senior Reporter Adam Caplan about the likelihood of a deal after the Saints selected Porter. Caplan, who was in New York City, didn't have much to say. But it said a lot.
"Could happen tomorrow," Caplan said.
Only time will tell.
Matthew Postins is the publisher of Saintsinsider.com. He is an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association.