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2018 Free Agency Preview: Tight Ends

Posted Mar 12, 2018

With free agency set to begin later this week, Redskins.com previews the 2018 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the tight ends.

With free agency set to begin later this week, Redskins.com previews the 2018 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the tight ends.

Only two players remain from the Washington Redskins’ 2011 NFL Draft class.

First-round pick Ryan Kerrigan has lived up to the expectations, as the Purdue product has started every game over the last seven years and currently ranks third all-time in franchise history in sacks. Niles Paul, meanwhile, has been a do-it-all player for the Redskins during that time frame.

Originally joining the Redskins as a fifth-round pick out of Nebraska, Paul spent his rookie season at wide receiver before shifting over to tight end in 2012. Over the last few seasons, Paul has not only served as a tight end but also a fullback and special teams captain.

For his career to date, Paul has appeared in 82 games for the Redskins, recording 68 receptions for 856 yards and two touchdowns along with four rushing attempts for 10 yards. Additionally, the 28-year-old has returned 40 kickoffs for 806 yards.

Depending on whether or not the Redskins decide to bring back Paul for the 2018 season, here are some of the options at the tight end positon in free agency via Rotoworld.com:  

  • Jimmy Graham
  • Tyler Eifert
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins
  • Trey Burton
  • Martellus Bennett
  • Virgil Green  
  • Niles Paul
  • Luke Willson  
  • Ben Watson
  • Antonio Gates
  • Ed Dickson
  • Troy Niklas
  • Levine Toilolo
  • Mychal Rivera
  • Chris Gragg
  • Darren Fells
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Lee Smith
  • Anthony Fasano
  • Jeff Cumberland
  • Derek Carrier
  • Brandon Williams
  • Clay Harbor
  • Zach Miller
  • Logan Paulsen

Likely the most prized free agent of this group will be five-time Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham, who has split his career between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks.

In nine seasons, the 31-year-old has recorded 556 receptions for 6,800 yards and 69 touchdowns. The University of Miami product has twice toppled the 1,000-yard mark and has recorded at least 10 receiving touchdowns four times.

While Graham continues to climb the ranks of all-time greats at the tight end position, Antonio Gates has caught the most touchdowns of any tight end in NFL history.

Entering the league with the then-San Diego Chargers in 2003, Gates has tallied 11,508 receiving yards and 114 touchdowns on 927 career receptions. While his role in the Chargers’ passing game hasn’t been as large in recent seasons, he still recorded 30 receptions for 316 yards and three touchdowns in 2017.

Derek Carrier and Logan Paulsen, of course, previously played for the Redskins. Carrier spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons in Washington before being traded last offseason while Paulsen first five healthy seasons were with the Redskins.

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