Denver Broncos general manager George Paton met with the media at the NFL Combine on Tuesday and he was asked about the team’s decision on picking up the fifth-year option for tight end Noah Fant. While he said they haven’t yet made a decision on that, he said Fant was a talented player and he’d like him in Denver for a long time.
Paton: No fifth-year option decision on Noah Fant yet, but he is a “really talented player and we want (him) here for a long time.” pic.twitter.com/FiYLj8pSx0— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) March 1, 2022
The difficult part to figure out is whether Fant’s recent play is due to the failures of Pat Shurmur as an offensive coordinator or a decline in Fant’s play on the field. Frankly, I think it might have been a bit of both. However, there is some cause for optimism regarding Fant and his future with the team.
Midway through last season it felt like Albert Okwuegbunam had become the better option on the field over Noah Fant, but if you dug into it deeper, that midseason success from Albert O seemed to break Fant out of that early season funk.
Through the first eight games, Fant was averaging a mere 8.65 yards per reception and just looked slow out there running those three yard outs. Starting in Week 8, Albert O kind of got some big plays in through a solid four game stretch averaging 13.46 yards per reception. Then Fant took over in the final five games piling up 19 receptions for 246 yards averaging 12.95 yards per reception. He averaged above 10 yards per reception in all five of those games after achieving that mark just three times in the previous 11.
If you had asked me before that five game stretch to finish the season, I would have been okay moving on from Fant by not picking up that fifth-year option. But I think he showed he could still be the big play threat at tight end to warrant that option. Keeping him paired with Albert O is going to give the next Broncos’ starting quarterback plenty of options out there.
What do you think Broncos Country?
Should the Broncos pick up Noah Fant’s fifth-year option?
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