Free agent tight end James Casey has signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos, the team announced today. Casey was drafted in the fifth round by Gary Kubiak in 2009, when he was the head coach of the Houston Texans.
Casey visited Dove Valley back in February, but left without a deal. Most recently, Casey played for the Philadelphia Eagles, after signing a three-year, $14.6M contract back in 2013. After two unproductive seasons, the Eagles cut ties with Casey, rendering him a street free agent.
Now, Casey reunites with the head coach who drafted him, this time in the Mile High City. The Broncos recently signed Casey’s former teammate Owen Daniels and re-signed tight end Virgil Green. Casey’s skill-set is such that he can line up inline, out wide, or even as a fullback.
He gives the Broncos even more flexibility on offense. Kubiak and the Broncos are expected to lean heavily on the zone running scheme and utilize the play-action to gash the opposition down the field. Quarterback Peyton Manning now has three bona-fide tight ends to target over the middle and in the redzone, which is key, since he lost one of his favorite targets, Julius Thomas, to free agency.
James Casey has appeared in 92 NFL games, including 23 starts during his career with Houston (2009-12) and Philadelphia (2013-14). He has amassed 72 receptions for 842 yards and six touchdowns. Also a boon to the third phase of football, Casey led the NFL with 439 snaps played on special teams, while posting 13 tackles and two blocked punts for the Eagles.
This transaction marks the fifth free agent to sign with the Broncos with past ties to Gary Kubiak. General Manager John Elway and his old backup, are clearly building this roster in a way that maximizes Kubiak’s scheme. Familiarity is the common thread.
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