NFL Free Agency 2021: Top 10 Tight Ends & Their Landing Spots

By Alex Kurpeski

 

Finding a star tight end is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Players take a long time to incubate and when they’re finally hatched as TE1s you’ve been starting them for four years and it’s too little too late. That’s if your team is lucky too. That being said this year’s free-agent tight end class is filled with intriguing talents, many of whom are expected to cash out in free agency. Let’s take a little peek at a few of the names on this here list. 

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

 (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Chargers are clearly smitten with Henry and following his career year, it would be hard to imagine him walking as a free agent. I’m expecting the Bolts to lock him up to a contract with a similar framework to Austin Hooper’s deal from the last offseason. 

Best Fit: Los Angeles Chargers

Most Likely Landing Spot: Los Angeles Chargers

 

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Smith’s play has trailed off since his scorching start to the season, but he remains a great free-agent target. If Tennessee doesn’t pony up the cash for him, a move to New York could be very fruitful. 

Best Fit: Tennessee

Most Likely Landing Spot: New York Jets

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Tonyan is a restricted free agent, but his performance this season suggests that a team could throw a ton of money at him thanks to his receiving abilities. The Packers could easily replace Tonyan with the compensation pick that they would get for him, too. 

Best Fit: Green Bay

Most Likely Landing Spot: Jacksonville

 

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

If Gronk isn’t playing in Tampa Bay then he’s retired. I don’t see anyone convincing him to play elsewhere. 

Best Fit: Tampa Bay

Most Likely Landing Spot: Tampa Bay

 

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

Throw those horns up if you’re sick of 50/50 splits with Tyler Higbee (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Everett has spent the last four seasons in a weird platoon with Tyler Higbee. Though both players are extremely talented, the Rams have money tied up with Higbee, which makes me think Everett will be moving on. Everett will be a highly sought after target for a team like the Patriots who might not want to splurge on Jonnu Smith or Robert Tonyan. 

Best Fit: Los Angeles

Most Likely Landing Spot: New England

 

Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts

 (AP Photo/Don Wright)

A former collegiate basketball star at VCU, Alie-Cox has been a dynamic if inconsistent playmaker for the Colts this season. Alie-Cox is the exact type of player to be overpaid by a team in free agency and I fully expect the Panthers to be that team. 

Best Fit: Indianapolis

Most Likely Landing Spot: Carolina

Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts

Burton has been great for the Colts this season thanks to his familiarity and trust with Frank Reich. It’s hard to imagine the team letting him walk unless he gets a crazy offer elsewhere. 

Best Fit: Indianapolis

Most Likely Landing Spot: Indianapolis

 

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

Cook has begun to show signs of rust this season and the Saints will likely want to transition to Adam Trautman as their TE1 in 2021. Though he might consider retirement, I think Cook will look to catch on with a contending team like his former club, the Tennessee Titans. If Jonnu Smith walks, Cook is a decent contingency plan. 

Best Fit: New Orleans

Most Likely Landing Spot: Tennessee

 

Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars

Eifert has played fine this season. He’s still a very talented player and a team like the Colts could look to bring him in, as Eifert is an Indiana native. 

Best Fit: New England

Most Likely Landing Spot: Indianapolis

 

Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles

Rodgers has seen some extended action for Philadelphia this season in the wake of injuries to Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The former Packer is a tremendous athlete who is still only 28 years old. He’s got something left in the tank and a reunion with his old club could be a smart move assuming Green Bay lets Robert Tonyan walk. 

Best Fit: Philadelphia

Most Likely Landing Spot: Green Bay

Agree or Disagree? Let us know!

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