The Denver Broncos will enter the 2021 offseason with all of the tight ends on the roster signed through at least 2021 with two players heading in as restricted free agents in Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli.
There were some injury issues last year that kept this group from growing into their full potential as Austin Fort and Albert Okwuegbunam both went down early. It would be interesting to see both of those players get through healthy this offseason and compete.
Mostly it was just Joe Rowles and I discussing today as Scotty Payne didn’t see much reason to debate the position group this time around as there really doesn’t seem much the Broncos would need to do here in 2021 at least. I missed getting this post up on Monday due to schedule conflicts, so you didn’t miss anything since we wrote about right tackles late last week.
Broncos tight end position group
|Butt, Jake||TE||6' 05"||246||25||RFA|
|Fant, Noah||TE||6' 04"||249||23||Signed through 2022|
|Fort, Austin||TE||6' 04"||245||25||Signed through 2021|
|Fumagalli, Troy||TE||6' 05"||247||25||RFA|
|Leggett, Jordan||TE||6' 05"||258||25||Signed through 2021|
|Okwuegbunam, Albert||TE||6' 05"||258||22||Signed through 2023|
|Vannett, Nick||TE||6' 06"||257||27||Signed through 2021|
|Beck, Andrew||TE/FB||6' 03"||254||24||Signed through 2022|
Joe Rowles: I spoke with Coach A about the tight end position on Cover 2 Broncos recently. If Albert Okwuegbunam can come back from his knee injury, he and Noah Fant could set the league on fire.
Tim Lynch: I really like Albert O’s potential as well. I was also a huge fan of Austin Fort, but his back-to-back season ending injuries to start his career has put him in a “last opportunity” type situation in 2021.As far as RFA’s Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli go, I think they should let both walk. Denver could pick up additional depth late in the draft if they need to.
Scotty Payne: Cut Vannett. Tight end is set.
Joe: If the Broncos are looking for another tight end to serve as depth or maybe replace Nick Vannett I hope they go the free agent route.
Tim: I’m okay with keeping Vannett. Mix in a late round guy and the position group is just fine provided they all stay healthy in 2021!
Joe: It’s not that I want to push Vannett out the door so much as he carries a $3,553,125 cap number in 2021. Cutting him would free up $2,678,125. If Fant and Okwuegbunam are healthy he’s probably logging snaps as the TE3 and it could make sense to chase a cheaper alternative. If that’s the plan, I like a veteran because as we’ve seen rookie tight ends typically have a rough adjustment to the league.
Tim: In that case, it would likely be cheaper to bring back Butt or Fumagalli since they are Restricted Free Agents. I’d probably go with Fumagalli due to Butt’s injury history.
Joe: Yeah if you’re keeping one or the other I think Fumagalli is the better bet. I wouldn’t be opposed to giving Butt another try in training camp next year, but there’s no way the Broncos should offer more than the veteran minimum or expect anything. This sounds crass, but the reality is injuries have sapped Butt of who he could become back when he was coming out of Michigan. That bowl game injury changed his developmental trajectory.
What do you think Broncos Country? Are the Broncos pretty much set at tight end in 2021? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.