NFL Free Agency for 2023 is almost here. The legal tampering period begins March 13 and free agency becomes official for March 15 with the start of the new league year. Per my last article, NFC North teams have some holes to fill. Teams begin to fill needs in free agency prior to the NFL Draft (April 27-29) for long term talent additions. Let’s start with Tight End for FYS Free Agency Primers.
Evan Engram is getting tagged by the Jaguars so might not be available unless it is a non-exclusive tag and a deal is worked out to trade for him.
Dalton Schultz (577 yards and 5 TDS with Dallas in 15 games, 18th PFF and 6th in run block)
If the Cowboys don’t tag him again, Schultz will be the best TE FA on the market. He is a balanced tight end that run blocks well and can be productive in the passing game. Packers a tight end needy team and he would be a nice fit. I see a 15 million per price tag though which would be crazy for a tight end.
Mike Gesicki (362 yard and 5 TDs with Dolphins, over 700 yards in 2020 and 2021 each, 40th PFF)
Mike Gesicki is more of a large pass catching TE than a blocker. Great catch radius and is young so should get a good sized contract if he hits free agency. Dolphins did not use him as much under Mike McDaniels. 8 million per year price tag.
Austin Hooper (444 yards and 2 TDs with Titans, 17th PFF)
Hooper had so much potential but hasn’t hit that potential with several teams. Solid tight end but not that great of a run blocker. Someone might sign him to a short-term deal at 28 years old. 6.7 per price tag.
Robert Tonyan (470 yards and 2 TDs with Packers, 51st PFF)
Green Bay fans know him well after a strong 2020/2021 season. He had a down year in 2022 coming off the ACL injury and will look to rebound (maybe with a new team). 5 million per year sounds correct for his next deal at 28 years old given his 2020/2021 success.
Hayden Hurst (414 yards and 2 TDs with the Bengals, 29th PFF)
Another first round bust that is 29 currently. Hurst can help out in the passing game but is not a great run blocker either. Still a 6 million per deal might be too rich to add Hurst for NFC North teams.
Jordan Akins (495 yards and 5 TDs with Texans, 12th per PFF
Akins is an underrated TE from the Texans. He could be added on a cheap deal and could be a starter for a few teams.
Foster Moreau (420 yards and 2 TDs, 38th of 72 per PFF)
Another decent receiving tight end that could be cheap.
OJ Howard (Buccaneers)
Former 1st round pick looking for a change of scenery coming off an injury.
Irv Smith (Vikings and his embarrassment of riches), Geoff Swaim, Chris Manhertz, Dan Arnold, Marcedes Lewis (Packers), Adam Shaheen, Kyle Rudoph (former Viking), Jessie James (form Lions), Maxx Williams, Drew Sample Richard Rodgers are all out there for a backup position.
Tight end is usually a day 2/3 draft pick (glares at Lions), but can be filled with some of these free agents. Lions and Packers have starter needs here. Bears have a backup need at TE.