Saints, Colston agree to extension

Marques Colston (AP Photo)

The New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Marques Colston agreed to a new contract extension on Wednesday, locking up the wide receiver and avoiding the possibility of losing Colston to free agency after this season.

The New Orleans Saints have signed wide receiver Marques Colston to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. Colston, who has more catches in his first two seasons than any player in NFL history, is now under contract with the club until 2011.

"Marques is a team-first player and a hard worker whose productivity over his first two seasons is unmatched in club history and we believe Marques can be even better as he gains experience in the league," said Loomis. "We are very pleased to get this deal done and look forward to seeing great things from him over the next four seasons."

Colston has 168 receptions since entering the NFL in 2006, including a club-record 98 last season for 1,202 yards. He also tied a Saints' record in 2007 with 11 touchdown catches. In 30 career games, Colston has recorded eight 100-yard performances and 14 contests with at least one TD grab – including four games with multiple-touchdown receptions. He has 29 catches of 20 yards or more over the last two seasons, including an 86-yard touchdown in 2006.

"It was a priority for our team to get this done before our training camp practices started," said Coach Sean Payton. "He is an established player in the NFL and a key part of our offense. He is also becoming a leader on our team, and certainly within our group of wide receivers."

In 2006, the lanky target was the 252nd player selected in the NFL Draft but emerged as the most productive rookie wideout in club history. Despite missing two contests, he recorded 70 catches for a team-high 1,038 yards and eight TDs. Inserted into the starting lineup immediately, after nine games he had 869 yards – the highest total in NFL history for a rookie over that span. Colston enters his third season in 2008.

Of his 168 catches since entering the league, 115 have moved the chains for a first down. He has been particularly effective on third down in his career – Colston has 49 receptions for 724 yards and six touchdowns on third down.

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