The Denver Broncos shored up one of its offseason needs on Friday, agreeing to terms to bring back unrestricted free agent tight end Jeff Heuerman on a two-year deal.
First reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Heuerman is expected to make $9 million over the life of the contract.
Reacting to the news Friday, “Stokley and Zach” co-host Brandon Stokley said the deal was likely one the Broncos had to make due to a lack of other options at the position on the free agency market.
“… The tight end position in free agency is so down this year that they were going to overpay for somebody that they didn’t know, and they don’t have a lot of depth there right now, so that’s a move that they kind of had to make to kind of solidify the spot,” Stokley said.
As an added bonus, however, Stokley said signing Heuerman allows the Broncos more flexibility in next month’s NFL Draft, with the team no longer needing to urgently address the tight end position.
“When they go into the draft they don’t have to draft T.J. Hockenson at No. 10 or draft a tight end early in the draft,” Stokley said. “They can kind of push that to the backburner if they want. And that’s what the Heuerman signing does for them.”
However, Denver will likely still bring in another tight end, Stokley said, either in free agency or later in the draft.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll draft one. They might add another piece in free agency a little bit later,” Stokley said. “But I think this was a move because of the lack of depth there and the lack of a veteran presence. They just felt most comfortable with Jeff Heuerman. The market is down, and we got Jeff Heuerman back.”
The fifth-year pro was drafted by the Broncos in the third round (92nd overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Ohio State.
Heuerman missed his entire first season in the NFL, however, after suffering a torn ACL during rookie minicamp.
In 2018, amid the best season of his career, Heuerman also landed on injured reserve after Week 12 with fractured ribs and a bruised lung. Up to that point, the tight end had caught 31 passes on 48 targets for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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