Tight ends are some of the most intriguing players on the field. Some can be a key piece in an offense and others can be an after thought. Tight ends can cover up some of the deficiencies with the offensive line, quarterback, running back or receivers. They can also cause more problems if they can’t contribute the way that they are expected to. Here are the top 15 tight ends entering the 2017 season.
If you like this list, please check out the others in this series: QB, RB, WR
Most teams in the NFL need to see results from their coaches quickly or they might make a change in the head office or to the coaching staff. Some teams will make a lot of changes after only one season and these are some of the coaches that need to make changes or they could be on the streets after the 2017 season.
When an NFL player goes from year two to year three, they are expected to become a key contributor. There are some deviations depending on the player, position and injuries, but it is normally off by a year either way. For example, a running back is normally expected to contribute in year two or they could be replaced going into year three. Look at the Jaguars, they drafted TJ Yeldon in the second round in 2015 and they are already trying to replace him by drafting Leonard Fournette with their first round pick this season. These players are in good situations and have the talent to make an impact this season for their respective teams.
It’s time to look at the top wide receivers in the league. A lot of the receivers are dependent on who is throwing them the ball, but the really good receivers make their quarterback better. There are a lot of young receivers that should make a jump and some veterans looking to bounce back.
If you like this, check out the others in this series: QB, RB
Last week Richard Sherman made headlines last week when rumors came out that he imagined himself playing for the Cowboys or Patriots. Both teams did quite a bit in the offseason to sure up the cornerback position through two different methods. The Patriots signed a veteran in Stephon Gilmore while and extending Malcolm Butler’s contract by a year. Although they would like to have someone as talented as Sherman, it is unlikely that they would want to add another veteran. The Cowboys added three cornerbacks in the draft, but all three are generally considered better for the slot and they only have two veterans and would make more sense for Sherman.
There is also the likelihood that Sherman could leave once his contract is up and the Seahawks would probably get a compensatory pick in the third round, but they should be able to get more. When they were shopping him around during the draft season, the Seahawks were supposedly asking for a first round pick and no one would bite, but they might be able to squeeze out a second round pick and additional compensation like an additional draft pick in the fifth or sixth round or maybe even another player.
Why Dallas Makes Sense.
The Cowboys actually make a lot of sense for Sherman. He likely wants to go to a contender, as he probably wants another chance at a Super Bowl very soon. Dallas won thirteen games last season and was the victim of a last minute Hail Mary by Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round of the playoffs and could have used some more talent on defense. Dallas is absolutely a contender in the NFC and has a young defense that could use some experience and veteran leadership. At the age of 29, Richard Sherman is old enough to provide that, yet young enough to still be productive at a high level for the remaining two years of his contract.
Dallas currently has six cornerbacks on the roster that are looking to make an impact and Sherman would likely add some more competition and force the Cowboys to part ways with someone. Nolan Carroll is someone that they signed in the offseason and wouldn’t be devastating on the cap if they decided to cut him. There were rumors that the Cowboys were shopping Orlando Scandrick during the draft and could be used in a trade for Sherman to help with the cap hit and it would give Seattle a really good cornerback in the slot. Anthony Brown played really good as a rookie and should improve going into next season and it is hard to imagine the Cowboys parting ways with him.
The Cowboys did a lot in the draft for the secondary, drafting three cornerbacks and a safety. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are both better in the slot and could take the place of Scandrick if they wanted to part ways with him. Awuzie is the more valuable of the two because he can play anywhere in the secondary and probably won’t be leaving Dallas. Finally, Marquez White is someone they drafted in the sixth round and can play outside, but wouldn’t be expensive if the Cowboys decided to part ways
Another thing that Sherman would bring to the Cowboys is playoff experience. The longest tenured Cowboy, Jason Witten, has played in eight playoff games throughout his thirteen-year career and Sherman has played in twelve games through six seasons and has won more playoff games than he has lost. Adding someone with his experience could only help a team that has only won two playoff games in the last twenty years.
Trade Scenario One, Richard Sherman for Orlando Scandrick and a future third round pick
As alluded to when mentioning Scandrick earlier, it wouldn’t be bad to package him with Dallas’ third round pick in 2018. Dallas doesn’t like trading top 100 picks unless it is truly worth the value and Sherman is worth this value. The Cowboys have drafted really well lately so it might be disappointing to lose such a premium pick, but two years of a shut down cornerback is almost irresistible. Also, by giving them Scandrick, the Cowboys would help lessen the blow of Sherman’s contract. Scandrick is only making three million a year, but it is better than nothing and with them trying to resign their top guard, Zack Martin, and make a run at the same time, taking an eight million dollar hit instead of eleven would be welcoming.
This seems like a win-win scenario, but would the Seahawks be willing to do it. After all, they were demanding a first round pick before the draft and they have to feel like they could possibly get a better deal. There would also probably be concern for the Cowboys to part ways with a premium pick, given their new direction of building through the draft.
Trade Scenario Two, Richard Sherman for La’el Collins
This scenario might be a little more interesting for the teams involved. La’el Collins has one more season on his contract and is then a restricted free agent. It is highly unlikely that Dallas will let him go after this season, but it is also unlikely that they will be able to sign him past next season. They have already signed Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick to long-term deals and Zack Martin is expected to sign an extension before the end of training camp. With all of that money invested in the offensive line, there won’t be much left for La’el Collins.
The Seahawks wanted a first round pick for Sherman and by getting Collins, they will. They have had a lot of issues around their offensive line recently and Collins would be a welcome addition. Collins can play inside or outside and would be an instant upgrade wherever he plays. Also, by unloading Sherman’s contract, the Seahawks could sign Collins to a long-term deal and they would have a 23-year-old staple in their offensive line for years to come.
There are a couple of reasons this trade might not work. A player-for-player trade is rare in the NFL because most teams value their own talent more than other teams. The Seahawks might not see Collins in the same light as Sherman and therefore might not accept the deal. The focal point for the Cowboys is their offensive line and with Doug Free retiring in the offseason and Ron Leary leaving in free agency, it might be too difficult for the Cowboys to let another good lineman go.
In all likelihood, Richard Sherman will still be with the Seahawks next season and La’el Collins and Orlando Scandrick will both have stars on their helmets. It would be interesting to see Sherman in Dallas with all of the attention that the Cowboys get and how much more Sherman would bring. If one of these deals happens, then both the Cowboys and Seahawks would benefit and could cause an interesting matchup in the playoffs if these teams were to meet.
My name is Sean, I have been a fan of the NFL for at least 25 years and want to get my thoughts out to the public. Please visit the main site for more posts