Denver Broncos State of the Roster: Tight Ends

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

It's the third week of Mile High Report's "Be the Broncos GM" series. Today we take a look at the tight end position and Denver's State of the Roster. How did Broncos TE's perform in 2013? Who is under contract in 2014?

Player Pos. Base Salary Signing Bonus Other Bonus Dead Money Cap Figure
Julius Thomas
TE 645,000
96,000 - - 741,000
Virgil Green TE 645,000 16,236 - -- 661,236
Jacob Tamme
TE 3,000,000 500,000 - - 3,500,000
Joel Dreessen
TE 2,500,000 666,668 - - 3,166,668

2014 Tight End Cap Hit: $8.068 million

Projected 2014 Cap Space: $29.4 million

Starters

With as much as the Broncos love to run 11 personnel on offense, you can really consider only one person a starter and that would be Julius Thomas. Last season Thomas overcame a lot of early career road bumps to win the starting job and emerge as another potent play-making threat the Broncos can depend on. More of a pass catching specialist, Julius struggled quite a bit with the blocking aspect of the game.

Behind him would be fellow 2011 draftee Virgil Green. "Virg" is the #2 man who usually comes in when the Broncos employ 12 personnel. It was interesting to see the Broncos employ Virgil as a FB, HB, even as a regular receiving TE or inline TE. He provides the Broncos with a lot of flexibility and could be taking on a bigger role in 2012 depending on what happens amongst the depth.

Depth

One or both of Dreessen and Tamme will be gone in 2014 book it! Both are making substantially more money than their contributions warrant. If I had to choose between the two, I'd cut Dreessen (which would trigger an injury settlement) and try to restructure Tamme's number closer to the 2 million mark. Of the two, Tamme provided the most flexibility last season when he played WR with the offense sans Wes Welker.

Outlook

Longterm the Broncos will be looking to retain Julius when he becomes free in 2015. For 2014 however, look for them bolster the position either through the draft or free agency.

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