The Green Bay Packers go into the 2014 off-season with major question marks at the tight end position. The players under contract for 2014 are largely unproven, and the one player with more than one year of experience on an active NFL roster (Ryan Taylor) has only eight receptions for his career.
The player with by far the most experience and athletic talent at the position suffered a serious neck injury in 2013, and is no lock to be cleared by the team doctors to play, nor is he a lock to return on a new contract even if he is cleared. The second-stringer showed flashes of ability, but lacked consistency, and he is also a free agent.
Here are the Packer tight ends whose contracts expire in March and who will therefore test the market around the rest of the NFL.
6 games, 5 starts
25 receptions, 300 yards (12.0 YPR), 3 touchdowns
Final year of two-year, $14 million contract
2013 compensation: $4.45 million base salary, $3.8 million in bonuses
70 games, 48 starts
223 receptions, 2,785 yards (12.5 YPR), 20 touchdowns
2008 NFL Draft: third-round pick (#91 overall)
16 games, 10 starts
32 receptions, 312 yards (9.8 YPR), 2 touchdowns
Final year of four-year, $2.8 million rookie contract
2013 compensation: $1.323 million base salary
39 games, 15 starts
56 receptions, 586 yards (10.5 YPR), 3 touchdowns
2010 NFL Draft: fifth-round pick (#154 overall)