Veteran Free Agent Options For Bucs At Tight End

The Bucs had hoped that tight finish Rob Gronkowski would return to play yet another season with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay in 2022. However on Tuesday Gronkowski introduced his retirement from soccer at age 33.

Gronkowski retired after the 2019 season, however returned in 2020 to reunite with Brady after he signed with the Bucs. Tampa Bay received Tremendous Bowl LV that season largely partly to Gronkowski’s two touchdowns, which helped the Bucs construct an early 14-0 lead over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

Anticipating Gronkowski’s return, the Bucs didn’t signal any veteran free agent tight ends this offseason. As a substitute, the Bucs drafted Cade Otton within the fourth spherical and Ko Kieft within the sixth spherical. Tampa Bay may be very skinny on expertise on the place with simply Cameron Brate, who turns 31 in July, as the one veteran on the crew. Lengthy-time follow squader Codey McElroy, 29, and a pair of undrafted free brokers in J.J. Howland and Ben Beise spherical out the place.

The Bucs reworked Brady’s contract a number of months in the past to clear up some wage cap room, presumably to re-sign Gronkowski. However now that cash could possibly be used to signal one other veteran if the crew desires so as to add one.

Accessible Free Agent Tight Ends

Let’s check out the leftover veteran tight ends that remained unsigned as of June 21.

Jimmy Graham

Bucs CB Jamel Dean and Bears TE Jimmy Graham – Picture by: USA In the present day

Graham, 35, final performed for Chicago in 2021 the place he revamped $11 million mixed over the previous two seasons. A 12-year veteran, the 6-foot-6, 259-pound Graham has been a stable receiver over his profession with six years in New Orleans, three years in Seattle and two years in Inexperienced Bay. Graham’s manufacturing has waned has he hasn’t produced over 500 yards receiving because the 2018 season with the Packers. Final yr with the Bears, Graham posted a career-low 14 catches for 167 yards (11.9 avg.) and three touchdowns. The five-time Professional Bowler final made the Professional Bowl in the course of the 2017 season.

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph, 32, spent his first 10 years in Minnesota earlier than becoming a member of the New York Giants in 2021. He signed a one-year deal price simply over $4.5 million. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Rudolph has been an excellent blocker and a constant receiver. Final yr with the Giants he caught 26 passes for 257 (9.9 avg.) and one landing. Rudolph hasn’t had a season with 400 yards or extra in receiving yards since 2018 in Minnesota. He had two Professional Bowl seasons in 2012 and 2017.

Jared Prepare dinner

Prepare dinner, 35, is probably the most skilled of the remaining free agent tight ends. He spent 13 seasons within the NFL with six completely different franchises. After 4 years in Tennessee, three seasons in St. Louis and one yr in Inexperienced Bay, Prepare dinner performed two seasons in Oakland. Throughout the 2018 season, Prepare dinner made the Professional Bowl, catching 68 passes for 896 yards (13.2 avg.) and 6 touchdowns for the Raiders. The 6-foot-5, 246-poujnder then moved on to New Orleans the place he had one other Professional Bowl season in 2019. Prepare dinner caught 43 passes for 705 yards (16.4 avg.) and 9 touchdowns. Final yr he signed a one-year deal price $5.5 million to play for the Chargers. He caught 48 passes for 564 yards (11.8 avg.) and 4 TDs.

Eric Ebron

Ebron, 29, is likely one of the youthful obtainable tight ends. After being drafted by Detroit within the first spherical in 2014, Ebron spent 4 years with the Lions earlier than shifting on to the Colts in 2018. After two seasons in Indianapolis, Ebron spent the final two years in Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-4, 253-pound Ebron has not lived as much as his draft billing, however is gifted sufficient to remain employed within the league. He signed a two-year, $12 million cope with the Steelers. After catching 56 passes for 558 yards (10.0 avg.) and 5 touchdowns in 2020, Ebron solely caught 12 passes for 84 yards (7.0 avg.) and one TD final yr.

Blake Jarwin

Jarwin, 27, has solely spent 4 seasons in Dallas and was not re-signed. Not solely does Jarwin have the least quantity of expertise, he additionally has the least quantity of manufacturing. Jarwin has simply 70 receptions for 780 yards (11.1 avg.) and two touchdowns in his Cowboys profession. He performed in eight video games final yr and had 11 catches for 96 yards (8.7 avg.) and two TDs. Jarwin revamped a mixed $10 million over his final two seasons.

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