The Aaron Hernandez situation is a depressing one for all involved, and I certainly don’t want to make light of it. But the business side of football must carry on, and that means the New England Patriots have to find a replacement at the tight end position. That got Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports thinking about potential options for the Patriots to reload their offense, and came up with this article. And while the Patriots will definitely be looking at options at tight end as the offseason progresses, it also means there could be names out there for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers closer to the start of the season.
The most interesting names from Kirwan’s list have to be Tony Moeaki and Lance Kendricks. Both are players the Buccaneers faced last season, and both had fairly productive seasons. Moeaki picked up 24 first downs for a Kansas City offense that was less than stellar, and Kendricks grabbed four touchdowns for the Rams, including his 80-yard score against the Buccaneers.
However, it should be noted all of these players are primarily likely to be available by trade, and it’s in the Buccaneers best interest to not break the bank on the tight end position after spending the entire offseason failing to address the position in a major way. The best option currently on the market for free is Dallas Clark, who is probably on the verge of retirement, but Kevin Boss and Todd Heap both remain on the market. It’s unclear if either offers much, mainly due to health concerns, but they could provide help if the Bucs find themselves in need of a decent veteran at tight end heading into 2013.
Also, be sure to check out this article from this week, addressing a reader question about the future of the tight end position. And leave a comment with your thoughts on how the Bucs have handled the tight end portion of the depth chart this summer.
(Also, thanks to reader Mike for tipping us to this article!)