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Tight End Options

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Jeff King will be a free agent this offseason (restricted). What tender the Panthers put on him will likely be a sign of how interested they are in keeping him. Me? I'm iffy. He's a decent blocker but no one worries about him as a receiving threat.

And personally, I'm still hoping that OC Jeff Davidson - who old teammate Chris Spielman said likes receiving TEs - will convince the team to finally break their tradition and get someone who can do both.

So who are some of the options out there.

Owen Daniels, Texans

This is the name that people tend to bring up first. He's proven to be a legit receiving threat and has decent bulk (around 250) but I don't know that he's much more than average as a blocker. Add in that he's restricted so the team signing him has to give something up depending on his tender.

L J Smith, Eagles

Again, more of a receiving TE than a blocker. Used to be better but seems to have fallen off over the past few years. Previously I probably would have been for giving him a look, but these days I'm not excited about the idea. Not sure he's especially better as a blocker than Daniels.

Bo Scaife, Titans

Of the names on the free agent market, this is the one I might give more consideration. Things I've read about him have listed him as above average in receiving and improving to above average as a blocker. Still not a name anyone would fear, but likely better than what we have now.

Heath Miller, Steelers (trade)

This is the guy I most wish we could acquire, but he can only be had by trade so it would depend on what the Steelers would ask. Word a while back was that he wasn't all that high on Mike Tomlin's friend list and the Steelers have a pretty good up-and-coming backup in Matt Spaeth. Still, he looked pretty god in the postseason, so the asking price would likely be more than we'd want to give up.

And no, trading Peppers for Miller wouldn't be a good trade unless something else was thrown in, and the Steelers aren't known for giving away their draft picks.

Gary Barnidge, Panthers

This is the guy a lot of people may well tout as the best option. Whether or not he's the best option, unknown. Is he the easiest option, though? Given that he's already on the team, obviously.

Bottom line: I really want to see the team get someone in this spot who opposing defenses have to respect as a receiver. Given the team's record, I can't say I'm confident, but I can dream :sosp:

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there's absolutely no doubt our three tight ends will continue to be our three tight ends. They're cheap (though I do kinda worry that, as usual, we'll piss away too much money in RFA and tender King a 2nd round offer), they're young, they fit in roles.

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footballs future had Daniels listed as a UFA, but other websites contradicted that. In the case of them putting the high tender, yea, it's not going to happen.

Bo Scaife is an intriguing option. LJ Smith though is also a pretty viable threat.

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i agree that we need to get better at that position, but i just dont see it happening anytime soon. we will prob be better off concentrating on the defense this offseason and hope one of the guys we got can somehow turn into the next wesley walls

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Rosario Dawson could be a threat if we ever used him, he had about 10 really great catches this year.

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Good post.

I think when John Fox squints his eyes and looks at a tight end he sees a blocker first and foremost.

Our last quality receiving threat at tight end was Wesley Walls of course. But after 1999 and the departure of Steve Beuerlein who he had great chemistry with the TE position has suffered in the offense. Chris Weinke, then John Fox saw to that.

Unless we find someone who can block first, and is a helluva receiver second who has Jakes trust things won't change me thinks.

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Unless we find someone who can block first, and is a helluva receiver second who has Jakes trust things won't change me thinks.

Miller fits that description, but I seriously doubt we'd go to the effort needed to get him.

there's absolutely no doubt our three tight ends will continue to be our three tight ends. They're cheap (though I do kinda worry that, as usual, we'll piss away too much money in RFA and tender King a 2nd round offer), they're young, they fit in roles.

Fox has yet to deviate from the TE formula he's preferred since getting here, and there's nothing to definitively indicate that this year will be any different. Thus, this seems the most likely option.

With that said, I do think Davidson would like a more viable receiving threat at TE. Whether or not he's likely to get it is, of course, in the hands of Fox.

It's reasonable to believe that Fox has placed a fair amount of faith in Jeff Davidson when you look at the process that brought Rip Scherer on board. If this is so, and Davidson does press for a bigger role for the TE, then change is possible.

Of course, if the status quo is maintained, that won't be a huge surprise to anyone either.

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besides the other things I listed as to why we wouldn't likely do anything different, we also have needs at three high priced defensive positions - CB, DT, DE.

But, we draft a guy in the 5th or 6th every year, so there's something. The list is a good one, but like our other skill positions, I don't see the need.

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A 2 headed hybrid along the lines of the Brandon Manumaleuna, Antonio Gates combo the Chargers use would be optimal. Obviously we won't find an Antonio Gates quality receiver but adding a passing situation TE to the roster might be an option.

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besides the other things I listed as to why we wouldn't likely do anything different, we also have needs at three high priced defensive positions - CB, DT, DE.

But, we draft a guy in the 5th or 6th every year, so there's something.

The way the Peppers saga plays out likely has a huge impact in these areas.

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A 2 headed hybrid along the lines of the Brandon Manumaleuna, Antonio Gates combo the Chargers use would be optimal. Obviously we won't find an Antonio Gates quality receiver but adding a passing situation TE to the roster might be an option.

The team has tried twice to acquire Manumaleuna, and failed twice. He's more the kind of TE that Fox wants (big blocker, occasional receiver).

On that front, there's also Jim Kleinsasser. He's a little older but has always been one of the better blocking TEs (and an occasional fullback). If we stick with the ideal Fox type TE then he'd be a free agent option.

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The team has tried twice to acquire Manumaleuna, and failed twice. He's more the kind of TE that Fox wants (big blocker, occasional receiver).

Unfortunately Manumaleuna is signed through next season at an apparently cap friendly number of 1.45 Million. So the Chargers would probably still not be likely to trade him. :(

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