Veteran Free Agent Options For Bucs At Tight End

The Bucs had hoped that tight finish Rob Gronkowski would return to play yet one more 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 gained Tremendous Bowl LV that season due largely partially 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 an alternative, the Bucs chosen Cade Otton within the fourth spherical and Ko Kieft within the sixth spherical of this 12 months’s draft. 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 staff. 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 may very well be used to signal one other veteran if the staff needs so as to add one.

Obtainable 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 – Photograph by: USA At this time

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, as he hasn’t produced over 500 yards receiving for the reason that 2018 season with the Packers. Final 12 months 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 through 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 value simply over $4.5 million. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Rudolph has been an excellent blocker and a constant receiver. Final 12 months with the Giants, he caught 26 passes for 257 yards (9.9 avg.) and one landing. Rudolph hasn’t had a season with 400 or extra receiving yards since 2018 in Minnesota. He had two Professional Bowl seasons, with one in 2012 and one other in 2017.

Jared Cook dinner

Cook dinner, 35, is essentially 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 12 months in Inexperienced Bay, Cook dinner performed two seasons in Oakland. In the course of the 2018 season, he made the Professional Bowl, catching 68 passes for 896 yards (13.2 avg.) and 6 touchdowns for the Raiders. The 6-foot-5, 246-pounder then moved on to New Orleans, the place he had one other Professional Bowl season in 2019. Cook dinner caught 43 passes for 705 yards (16.4 avg.) and 9 touchdowns. Final 12 months, he signed a one-year deal value $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, he spent 4 years with the Lions earlier than transferring 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 12 months.

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 12 months and had 11 catches for 96 yards (8.7 avg.) and two TDs. Jarwin revamped $10 million mixed throughout his final two seasons.