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2014 Free Agent Tight Ends

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Julius Thomas and Virgil Green are safe as starter and backup. Behind them Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are making too much money comparable to their respective roles. Therefore you might see the Broncos dabble into the TE free agent pool to add some depth. Here are some names you should know about.

Jonathan Daniel

Brandon Pettigrew

On the season Brandon caught 41 passes for 416 yards and 2 touchdowns. Heading into his 7th season, Pettigrew set a career high for receptions in 2011 with 83. He has never recorded more than 777 yards receiving but is a decent blocker which would help the Broncos fill their hole at the position.

Last season Brandon earned 3.2 million. Given his fall off in production, he is likely to demand a similar or lower wage in free agency.

Out side of Jimmy Graham (tagged) and Jermichael Finley there aren't a lot of big names as far as receiving TE's go. That is perfect, the Broncos do not need another pass catching extraordinaire with Julius Thomas in the lineup. So lets focus on some of the TE's that were the best blockers in 2014. This is an area in which the Broncos could use some improvement.

Ben Hartsock

Was the absolute best run blocking TE in 2014 according to Pro Football Focus. He more than doubled the grade of 2nd place blocker Brent Celek. He was not targeted in the passing game at all. As a pass blocker he held his own with a top 14 effort.

Bear Pascoe

Graded out top 6 amongst all TE in run blocking. Unlike Hartsock, he was targeted 18 times in the passing game with 12 receptions.

Both Hartsock and Pascoe should come pretty cheap. Last season Hartsock made about 840 K, while Pascoe raked in 615 K.

Outlook

If I were the Broncos, I'd look to keep Jacob Tamme but on a discount. You don't have to fleece his 3.5 million number, just take it down to about 2.0 million which is plenty fair for a utility man that can provide some flexibility with the WR position.

Once you get past that, either look to draft a young TE in the mid to late rounds or sign a vet in the mold of Hartsock/Pascoe, both of which would fill that need for another blocking TE quite nicely while only putting a scratch on the salary cap.