|Manning Calling Personnel Shots In Denver? |
by TSX of Scout.com, March 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm ET
Joel Dreessen Profile
TE Joel Dreessen confirmed to The Sports Xchange on Friday morning that he has reached an agreement with the Broncos.
And word is that Dreessen, 29, has the Peyton Manning seal of approval. Dreessen isn't particularly heralded, but he has averaged 30 catches over the past three seasons, scored 10 touchdowns in the last two years (including six in 2011) and can be used in the slot and offset from the tackle.
The offense that will be installed by Manning basically demands a tight end option as a receiver, and the Broncos really didn't have one. The favorite, of course, was former Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark, who is recovered from the injuries that limited him to 17 appearances over the last two seasons. But the Broncos had, according to trusted sources in the league, some competition for Clark, including from a few clubs that already have fairly accomplished tight ends.
Said the personnel director from one such team: "The new rage is the two-tight (end formation), and everybody wants the second guy now. So, yeah, (Clark) is in play. He can do so many things, create matchup (advantages), and, while we haven't had him in yet for our medical people to look at, we hear he's healthy."
Even with Dreessen onboard, don't rule out the Colts' "other" free agent tight end, Jacob Tamme, still signing in Denver, although the odds got longer on Friday morning. Tamme caught 67 passes in 2010, when Clark played only six games because of a wrist injury.
No immediate word yet on the Dreessen contract, although Manning's presence and success with tight ends helped lure him to Denver, but it's believed that the Broncos blanched a bit at Tamme's initial price tag of $3-$3.5 million per year.
Denver, by the way, hasn't had a tight end with more than 49 receptions since 2003, Shannon Sharpe's last season with the Broncos, when he had 62 grabs. Over the past three seasons, Denver starting tight ends averaged only 22.7 receptions.