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Our NFL offseason series continues with a look at the tight end position for each team heading into 2022, making note of potential TE1/TE2 possibilities, notable extension candidates, players heading to free agency, restructure candidates, and plenty more.

Spotrac's Offseason Position Pieces


Arizona Cardinals

The three most utilized tight ends by the Cardinals in 2021 (Zach Ertz, Maxx Williams, Demetrius Harris) are slated for free agency this March, making this a major position of need for Arizona. At 31 years old, Ertz will have has eyes on top TE money, but it’s hard to see him pushing close to that based on recent production. Ertz projects to a 2 year, $15M deal, while 27 year old Maxx Williams values toward a 3 year, $20M contract.


Atlanta Falcons

TE1: 3 yrs, $11M (+opt) | TE2: UFA
Kyle Pitts appears to be exactly what they hoped for in a highly drafted offensive weapon, but there will be open competition for the depth behind him this offseason. The Falcons have cap issues so this likely won’t be a splashy add spot.


Baltimore Ravens

TE1: 4 yrs, $48M | TE2: 2 yrs, $11M
Baltimore boasts one of the most expensive tight end groups in the league. Both Mark Andrews (obviously) &  Nick Boyle ($3M fully guaranteed) should be back in the fold for 2022, while former 3rd round pick Josh Oliver is set to enter a contract year.


Buffalo Bills

TE1: 1 yr, $2.5M | TE2: 1 yr, $965k
Dawson Knox doubled his catches and yards, while tripling his touchdown total from 2020 to 2021. He’s entering a contract year in 2022, projecting to a 3 year, $25M extension. Behind him Tommy Sweeney likely needs to be upgraded upon this offseason.


Carolina Panthers

TE1: 3 yrs, $3.2M | TE2: UFA
Carolina only targeted their top two tight ends a combined 65 times in 2021, with 35 going to Tommy Tremble & 30 to Ian Thomas (UFA). The Panthers have plenty of holes to fill, but there’s a need for a legitimate playmaker at this position sooner rather than later.


Chicago Bears

TE1: 2 yrs, $2.9M | TE2: UFA
After a sluggish rookie season, Cole Kmet took a big step forward in 2021, grabbing 60 balls for over 600 yards, though he failed to reached the end zone. Jimmy Graham & Jesse James are both slated for free agency behind him.


Cincinnati Bengals

TE1: UFA | TE2: 1 yr, $1.2M
C.J. Uzomah is finishing up a 3 yr, $18M contract and is due for a raise, currently valuing north of $10M per year. His chemistry with Joe Burrow seems worthy of an extension in the coming weeks. Drew Sample is a viable depth piece under contract through 2022.


Cleveland Browns

TE1: 2 yrs, $19M | TE2: UFA
Austin Hooper’s production in Cleveland has been nearly half of what he offered as a member of the Falcons, and a $13.25M cap hit for 2022 puts his contract in a bit of question. The Browns would need to designate him a Post June 1st release to get a decent amount of savings ($9.5M). Behind him David Njoku might have done enough to be brought back on a multi-year extension, while Harrison Bryant (2 yrs, $1.9M) offers good bang for buck.


Dallas Cowboys

TE1: UFA | TE2: 2 yrs, $11M
Dalton Schultz ran with the TE1 spot over the past few seasons, and enters the offseason as maybe the top potential TE free agent, projecting to a 4 year, $51M contract. To fit a deal like that in, Dallas could move on from Blake Jarwin, freeing up almost $4M of space.


Denver Broncos

TE1: 1 yr, $2.2M (+option) | TE2: 2 yrs, $1.9M
Noah Fant is one of the better TE weapons in the game, and is now extension eligible. While the Broncos focus on upgrading their QB position, a 4 year, $55M extension for Fant could be in the cards as well. Behind him, 4th rounder Albert Okwuegbunam has 2 years left on his rookie deal.


Detroit Lions

TE1: 1 yr, $3.3M (+option) | TE2: UFA
T.J. Hockenson was on pace for a career year before injury struck, but he still hasn’t quite reached the potential that Detroit was hoping to get when they selected him #8 overall 2 years ago. He’s extension eligible now, projecting to a 4 year, $52M contract, but it’s unclear if the Lions will offer him an early deal just yet. The depth behind him is full of question marks. 


Green Bay Packers

TE1: UFA | TE2: 1 yr, $1.9M
After a strong 2020, Robert Tonyan Jr.’s 2021 was limited to less than half a season due to injury, and he’s now slated for free agency. 2020 3rd round pick Josiah Deguara has two years left on his rookie deal and could factor in 2022, while vet Marcedes Lewis has 1 year remaining and seems likely to stick around.


Houston Texans

TE1: UFA | TE2: 3 yrs, $2.8M
The Texans are bare in many cupboards, and the tight end position proves to be no different. Houston will be in the market for a legitimate option at this position via free agency/draft, likely to pair with youngster Brevin Jordan, who has 3 years left on his rookie contract.


Indianapolis Colts

TE1: 1 yr, $5.4M | TE2: UFA
Jack Doyle will be entering a contract year in 2022, posting a $6.2M cap figure to boot. There’s $5.45M to be saved in moving on, but with Mo Alie-Cox slated for free agency, a restructure might make more sense. 


Jacksonville Jaguars

TE1: 1 yr, $2.5M | TE2: UFA
Dan Arnold holds a team-friendly $2.5M cap figure in 2022, and figures to get a chance to find more chemistry with Trevor Lawrence this offseason. 30-year-old Chris Manhertz has a chance to stick as the TE2, though there’s nearly $2M to be freed up if the Jags move on this spring.


Kansas City Chiefs

TE1: 4 yrs, $53M | TE2: UFA
Travis Kelce may have 4 years left on his deal, but only $2M of it offers him upfront guarantee (March 18th). At $8.8M, his cap hit remains team friendly for 2022, before soaring to $14.65M, $16.4M, & $18.65M from 2023 and on. Behind him, Blake Bell is headed for free agency, while 5th rounder Noah Gray has a chance to increase his role.


Las Vegas Raiders

TE1: 2 yrs, $14M | TE2: 1 yr, $2.5M
Darren Waller’s shortened season was quite on pace for the production he posted in 2020 (especially from a TD standpoint), but his role has never been as important as it will be now with Josh McDaniels’ leading the charge. Contractually he’s out of upfront guarantees, putting both he and Derek Carr in extension territory. Waller projects to a 3 year, $43M extension, which aligns him with Travis Kelce’s recent reup in KC. Behind him Foster Moreau is entering a contract year in 2022, projecting to around $4M per year as a TE2.


Los Angeles Chargers

34-year-old Jared Cook is slated for free agency, but could be asked back on a friendly contract based on decent production in 2021. Behind him, Donald Parham will be back on a minimum salary, and former 3rd rounder Tre McKitty should be in the mix for a bigger role.


Los Angeles Rams

TE1: 2 yrs, $12.5M | TE2: 1 yr, $895k
Tyler Higbee has been a big piece of the Rams’ puzzle over the past three seasons, but his contract is out of upfront guarantees, and there’s $5M+ to be freed up if LA moves on this offseason. A restructure might make more sense. Behind him, Kendall Blanton & Brycen Hopkins are on minimum salaries for 2022.


Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki’s rookie contract has now expired, making the 26 year old a prime candidate for a franchise tag in the coming weeks (projected $11M). A multi-year extension at that number could also be in the cards. Behind him, Cethan Carter is a cut candidate ($2.5M saved), while moving on from Adam Shaheen can free up another $1.8M.


Minnesota Vikings

TE1: 1 yr, $1.2M | TE2: UFA
Irv Smith’s 2021 season was completely lost due to injury, meaning he’ll enter a contract year in 2022 with much to prove. Behind him Tyler Conklin & Chris Herndon are pending UFAs.


New England Patriots

TE1: 2 yrs, $20.5M | TE2: 3 yrs, $33M
Hunter Henry took the reigns as the clear top producer of this group in 2021, and his contract is fully guaranteed through 2022 (though a $15M cap hit could very well be restructured). Jonnu Smith never really found his sea legs this season, but a fully guaranteed 2022, and $6.25M guaranteed 2023 salary makes it very difficult for New England to do much about that. Behind them, a pair of former 3rd round picks Devin Asiasi, & Dalton Keene may very well become trade bait this offseason.


New Orleans Saints

TE1: 2 yrs, $2M | TE2: 2 yrs, $6.1M
The Saints got just 36 catches for less than 400 yards out of their top two tight ends in 2021. Adam Trautman’s rookie contract has 3 more non-guaranteed years on it, while Nick Vannett has $1.9M of his 2022 salary fully guaranteed. The Saints have $76M of cap to reduce in the coming weeks, so it stands to reason that these two remain the focal point at this position right now.


New York Giants

TE1: UFA | TE2: 1 yr, $5M
In 5 years with the Giants, Evan Engram averaged 52 catches, 565 yards, and 3 TDs per season as the lead man. He’s likely headed for a change of scenery this offseason, putting the rest of the position in question for NYG. Kyle Rudolph carries a $7.4M cap hit on his $5M salary, but caught just 26 passes in 2021.


New York Jets

TE1: UFA | TE2: 1 yr, $3M
The top two TEs caught only 43 passes for the Jets in 2021. It stands to reason this is a position of upgrade for Wilson and Co. going forward, especially with Tyler Kroft slated for free agency, & Ryan Griffin on a non-guaranteed $3M salary.


Philadelphia Eagles

TE1: 4 yrs, $47M | TE2: 2 yrs, $1.7M
Dallas Goedert has grown into one of the most productive TE’s in the game, and is now practically guaranteed through the 2024 season. There’s room to improve in the roles behind him though, with Richard Rodgers, Tyree Jackson, & Jack Stoll currently rostered to compete. 


Pittsburgh Steelers

TE1: 3 yrs, $3.6M | TE2: UFA
Pat Freiermuth had a breakout campaign in Pittsburgh, and should be excellent value over the next few seasons before extension eligibility kicks in (2024). The Steelers found very little help at the position behind him, with Zach Gentry snagging 19 balls, and Eric Ebron seeing just 245 snaps


San Francisco 49ers

TE1: 4 yrs, $53M | TE2: 2 yrs, $1.9M
While a calf injury greatly limited George Kittle’s production in 2021, he’s fully guaranteed through 2022, with $5M of his 2023 salary vesting this coming April. Behind him, Charlie Woerner’s rookie contract has two non-guaranteed years remaining, while Ross Dwelley is slated for free agency.


Seattle Seahawks

Gerald Everett & Will Dissly are slated for the open market, though it’s possible an extension is reached with one prior to March 16th. Everett caught nearly 50 balls in 15 games last year. Behind them, 2020 4th rounder Colby Parkinson has a chance to stick for depth.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TE1: UFA | TE2: 2 yrs, $15.3M
Cameron Brate is the only tight end of consequence under contract for 2022, though his $6.8M salary ($7.2M cap hit) are likely too rich for TB to stick with. A pay cut or restructure could be offered, while Rob Gronkowski continuing his career is in question & O.J. Howard will almost certainly be allowed to test the open market.


Tennessee Titans

The Titans might be the best team in need of a legitimate, play-making TE this offseason. They’ll likely address the position via all channels, including potential trade opportunities. Geoff Swaim, Anthony Firkser, & MyCole Pruitt are all pending free agents.


Washington Football Team

TE1: 3 yrs, $18.2M | TE2: UFA
A knee injury limited Logan Thomas’ 2021 season to just 6 weeks, and while his contract offers an out before March 20th, it seems likely that he sticks for the 2022 campaign. Behind him, Ricky Seals-Jones is a pending free agent, while 2021 4th round pick John Bates should be competing for a depth role.