Over the next few weeks, we will break down each position on the Green Bay Packers' 2015 roster in detail, discussing each player and making our predictions for the final 53-man roster.
We continue to preview the 2015 Green Bay Packers' roster as the team approaches training camp with a look at the tight end position. Although the top two spots will likely go to Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers, the supporting cast behind them has changed drastically. Brandon Bostick, Ryan Taylor, and Jake Stoneburner are gone. Justin Perillo, the former practice squad player, is the only returning reserve player from last year's 53-man roster.
Here are the tight ends who are returning for the 2015 season.
#81 Andrew Quarless
H/W: 6'4, 252 pounds
NFL Seasons: 5
College: Penn State
2014 Stats: 29 rec., 323 yards, 3 TDs
Career Stats: 85 rec., 909 yards, 6 TDs
Contract Terms: Signed through 2015 season. $1.3M base salary, $175,000 signing bonus, $200,000 roster bonus, and $75,000 workout bonus in 2015.
After a disappointing start to his NFL career (mostly due to injuries), Quarless showed signs of improvement as both a pass catcher and a run blocker in 2014. His three touchdowns were a career-high and his yards per reception average jumped to 11.1 yards as well. He will be involved in one of the more intriguing position battles during training camp as he tries to fend off Richard Rodgers, who outplayed Quarless at times in 2014. The incident down in Miami over the holiday weekend already puts him in a trailing position for the starting job and a possible suspension isn't out of the question either.
#89 Richard Rodgers
H/W: 6'4, 257 pounds
NFL Seasons: 1
2014 Stats: 20 rec., 225 yards, 2 TDs
Contract Terms: Signed through 2017 season. $512,500 base salary, $126,504 signing bonus, and $10,000 workout bonus in 2015.
The big-bodied wide receiver turned tight end had flashes of brilliance in the second half of his rookie campaign, but must be a more consistent run blocker in order to earn the starting role. His ability as a route runner stood out last season, as he finished as the most efficient deep-ball tight end in the league (albeit only three receptions on three targets). Rodgers has the skill-set to become the pass-catching threat the team has lacked since JerMichael Finley's departure, and he has the physical strength to be an effective run blocker as well.
#80 Justin Perillo
H/W: 6'3, 250 pounds
NFL Seasons: 1
NFL Stats: none
College Stats: 128 rec., 1,318 yards, 15 TDs in 44 games
Contract Terms: Signed through 2015 season. $510,000 base salary in 2015.
Perillo is a great underdog story of a player from a small school. He was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2014 after an impressive career at the University of Maine. He was elevated from the practice squad midway through the season last year, and played in two games as a special teams contributor. Perillo doesn't have great speed or strength, but he plays a tough brand of football. He will likely be counted on as a special teamer in 2015 if he makes the squad.