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Former Packers tight end Richard Rodgers agrees to 1-year deal with Eagles

The Packers will employ a vastly different group of tight ends next season after Richard Rodgers departs for the Eagles.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Another reserve pass catcher has moved on from the Green Bay Packers. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced a one-year deal with former Packers tight end Richard Rodgers.

A third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Rodgers arrived in Green Bay as the heir apparent to retired standout tight end Jermichael Finley. Rodgers saw extensive playing time during his first two seasons with the team, catching 78 passes for 735 yards and 10 touchdowns over that span.

However, Rodgers’ lack of speed and athleticism limited his upside, as did his deficiencies as a blocker. The Packers brought in free agent Jared Cook in 2016 to serve as the lead tight end and signed Martellus Bennett a year later in the same capacity. Even after the Bennett experiment went up in flames, Rodgers saw only limited opportunities, especially in the red zone. He finished 2017 with just 12 receptions for 160 yards and a single touchdown.

The Packers’ acquisition of Jimmy Graham earlier this offseason signaled a desire to significantly upgrade at tight end. With Rodgers hitting free agency after the expiration of his rookie contract, the team showed little desire to bring him back. His departure leaves Green Bay with Graham, Lance Kendricks, and lightly used Emanuel Byrd as the only tight ends remaining on the roster.

Though Rodgers never developed into a featured piece of the Packers offense, he did help produce one the franchise’s all-time great plays. On the final play from scrimmage, he hauled in a 61-yard Hail Mary from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, pushing Green Bay ahead of the Detroit Lions 27-23. That win jumpstarted a late-season comeback effort for the Packers, who snuck into the playoffs as a wild-card in part thanks to the Rodgers-to-Rodgers heroics.