6 free-agent tight ends the Commanders could sign in 2024

Zach Ertz has replaced Logan Thomas, but could the Commanders add another tight end in free agency?

Mike Gesicki
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Which veteran tight ends could the Washington Commanders target once the 2024 NFL free-agent frenzy begins?

The Washington Commanders have already begun overhauling the depth chart at tight end. It's why Zach Ertz, a favorite of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, was brought in after Logan Thomas was released.

Thomas never became the dynamic playmaker his versatility and athleticism merited. Instead, the converted read-option quarterback was an afterthought in a position where the Commanders lacked other notable talent.

John Bates is a blocker first and foremost, while Cole Turner hasn't played enough to be the roving pass-catcher the Commanders need between the numbers. Fortunately, there's no shortage of options on this year's veteran market, including a true all-rounder, along with a gifted underachiever.

Commanders best all-rounder: Austin Hooper

Tight ends have become defined by one of two labels, either as a "move" tight end who catches passes from multiple alignments, or a traditional in-line tight end who lines up next to an offensive tackle and is as adept at blocking as snagging receptions.

Austin Hooper belongs in the in-line bracket. He's a 254-pounder who can block and also stretch the seams as a receiver.

Those dual skills helped Hooper earn a pair of Pro Bowl nods as a member of the Atlanta Falcons back in 2018-19. He was effective blocking for the Atlanta Falcons' zone-based rushing schemes, then became a factor in the power-running game of the Cleveland Browns.

Hooper showcased his physicality when he set the edge for the Browns against Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Chris Wormley in 2021.

He's made just 66 catches over the last two seasons, but Hooper would be a dependable complement to Zach Ertz. That's assuming Kliff Kingsbury wants more of a designated blocker and not another tight end who can be moved across formations to catch passes.