3 veteran tight ends Commanders can sign as Logan Thomas insurance
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders currently have $16 million in cap space after making a series of cuts on Wednesday. While the release of Ereck Flowers stunned fans, Matt Ioannidis and Deshazor Everett getting the axe were expected.
After speculation that Landon Collins was having second thoughts about leaving, the Commanders announced he’ll be designated as a post-June 1 cut. The move will save $11.8 million in cap space, but it won’t be processed until that date. In other words, his contract will remain on the books until then.
While the Commanders aren’t flush with cap space, they now have the necessary wiggle room to make low-profile signings.
The need to upgrade at linebacker and wide receiver goes without saying, but the tight end position could stand to be improved, too. Last season, Ricky Seals-Jones, who has since signed with the Giants, proved invaluable as a veteran backup to Logan Thomas, who missed 11 games through injury.
With that in mind, let’s highlight some of the best remaining TEs in free agency whom would qualify as solid pickups for Washington.
3 tight ends Commander should sign as Logan Thomas insurance
3. Robert Tonyan
While Robert Tonyan is more “talented” than the No. 2 tight end on this list, his potentially high price tag makes him the third option.
In all honesty, it’s not easy to gauge Tonyan’s market as an ACL injury limited the Indiana State product to just eight games last season.
On the other hand, though, the former Packers tight end is just one season removed from setting the league ablaze with 52 catches for 586 touchdowns and 11 touchdowns. Those 11 scores tight Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce for the most in the NFL at the position.
In terms of yards per route run, Tonyan ranks 17th amongst tight ends over the last two campaigns. Will a team be willing to pay a second-wave premium to land his services? Or will the fact he had one notable season in four tires with Green Bay limit his potential suitors, and thereby his price tag?
With a number of teams in need of a tight end, Tonyan’s price tag could range anywhere between $4-8 million per year. If it’s closer to the former, the Commanders should absolutely give him a call and see if he has interest in signing. Though not a great run-blocker, Tonyan is as sure-handed as they come at the TE position.
With Logan Thomas coming off major knee surgery, Tonyan would provide a stabilizing presence as the No. 2 option.