New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced that the team has released veteran right tackle Jon Stinchcomb, Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune reports.
A 2003 second-round pick out of Georgia, the 31-year-old right tackle has started 80 consecutive games for the Saints, and had three years and $8.3 million remaining on his contract. Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com notes that Stinchcomb's $2.25 million base salary for 2011 is fully guaranteed.
The 2009 Pro Bowler also serves as the team's player representative, and his release, along with the free agent departure of center Jonathan Goodwin, further disrupts the Saints' continuity along the offensive line.
Stinchcomb was coming off a right knee injury and the Saints want to go younger at the tackle position. 27-year-old left tackle Jermon Bushrod was re-signed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract and the Saints used a 2010 second-round draft choice on offensive tackle Charles Brown.
Zach Strief, who has been a key contributor in the Saints' 6-OL personnel groupings, re-signed with the club on August 1 and will compete with Brown for the starting right tackle job.
For more reaction on Stinchcomb's release, check out Canal Street Chronicles.