[Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of position snapshots previewing the 2010 NFL free agency period. Check out the quarterbacks here.]
Top unrestricted free agent tight ends:
1. Ben Watson: Immortal in New England for one play, Watson will also be remembered for his inconsistent hands. But he’s improved his blocking, he’s very athletic, and he makes a fine red zone target. Some Belichick disciple will want him.
2. Randy McMichael: McMike disappeared in St. Louis, but that’s not all his fault. He’s better than some starters out there.
3. L.J. Smith: If you can live without great pass blocking or durability, he’s your guy.
4. Brandon Manumaleuna: Mike Martz likey.
5. David Martin: I once saw him make some fabulous grabs as a member of the Packers and have overrated him since. He was a disappointment in Miami.
6. Alge Crumpler: He’s mostly a blocker now, and seems likely to return to Tennessee.
Restricted free agents that are highly unlikely to change teams:
Bo Scaife, Anthony Fasano, David Thomas, Jeff King
Interesting names that may get cut:
1. Desmond Clark, Bears: Versatile, but Mike Martz may not know what to do with him.
2. Todd Heap, Ravens: Heap may need a healthy offseason to make the roster next year. He’s due $4 million in 2010.
3. Daniel Graham, Broncos: Another player that should be safe until training camp, Graham is due $3.8 million next season. The Broncos drafted a similar player in Richard Quinn last season.
1. Tony Scheffler, Broncos: Here’s the athletic “move tight end” to go after. Despite Josh McDaniels’ recent words, the Broncos are certainly willing to deal Scheffler for a draft pick. The guy makes wow plays look routine.
McD didn’t seem to love Scheffler’s attitude, but he gained 645 yards in 2009. Mike Shanahan is well stocked in Washington or that would be a fit.
Teams in the TE market:
Buffalo, Cincinnati, New England, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Carolina, Arizona, St. Louis