2008 Free Agency Preview-Tight Ends/Fullbacks

Scout.com's NFL insider Adam Caplan takes a look the free agents at fullback and tight end as we get closer to the start of free agency.

Tight Ends Who Should Compete for a Starting Role

Dallas Clark/Indianapolis Colts (UFA) - He quickly became one of the elite players at his position in 2007 and finally stayed healthy. Clark, a former collegiate linebacker, is one of the league's most athletic tight ends and he's become a very solid blocker. Team officials said they would place the franchise tag on him should they not be able to reach a long-term deal before free agency started.  

Bo Scaife/Tennessee Titans (RFA) - Scaife has good hands and has improved as a route runner over the past few seasons. He moves fairly well and has some upside as a starter at the position.


Other Tight Ends Who Could Receive Interest in a Backup Role

Eric Johnson/New Orleans Saints (UFA) - Johnson is an athletic pass catcher but injuries have hampered him for most of his career. A league source told Scout.com that New Orleans isn't expected to re-sign him. However, Johnson is a very solid second option for a team that's looking for a tight end.

Ben Utecht/Indianapolis Colts (RFA) - Utecht moves well for a player of his size and he's become a better blocker. He has nice upside for a team that's looking for a No. 2 TE.

Kris Wilson/Kansas City Chiefs (UFA) - He was a pretty accomplished collegiate tight end and had a very good Senior Bowl week back in 2004. But he suffered a broken leg which curtailed his rookie season . Wilson's biggest problem is that he was drafted by a team that has a future Hall of Famer (Tony Gonzalez) as the starter at his position, so he was moved to fullback last season. But he has a ton of talent and could develop into a solid starter with another team. He's one of the true sleepers of free agency.

Ben Troupe/Tennessee Titans (UFA) - After an outstanding second season, Troupe was relegated to a rotational role the past two seasons. In fact, league sources say that Troupe wasn't a lock to make the roster prior to last season. He's an immense talent that could revive his once promising career with another team.

Anthony Becht/Tampa Bay Buccaneers (UFA) - He's still one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. Becht has value as a No. 2 tight end.

Billy Miller/New Orleans Saints (UFA) - The journeyman tight end is a solid second option at the position for a team that is in need of depth.

Michael Gaines/Buffalo Bills (UFA) - Gaines has become a solid blocking tight end and has value as a No.2 tight end.

Marcus Pollard/Seattle Seahawks (UFA) - His better days are clearly behind him but Pollard still offers value to a team looking for a No. 2 tight end.

Bryan Fletcher/Indianapolis Colts (RFA) - Fletcher rarely catches the ball but when he does, more than likely, it's for a score. He offers a team value as a third tight end.

Ben Hartsock/Tennessee Titans (UFA) - He's looked upon as a No. 3 tight end by most league personnel evaluators.


Fullbacks Who Should Compete for a Starting Role

Tony Richardson/Minnesota Vikings (UFA) - He's still one of the elite run blockers at his position and can probably still start for a few more seasons.

Leonard Weaver/Seattle Seahawks (RFA) - The athletic fullback still is learning how to play the position but is athletic and is getting better as a blocker.

Brad Hoover/Carolina Panthers (UFA) - He's a decent lead blocker for a power rushing attack. He also can carry the ball in short-yardage situations.

Dan Kreider/Pittsburgh Steelers (UFA) - He's coming back from ACL surgery but when healthy, Kreider is still a good fit for a team with a power rushing attack.


Other Fullbacks Who Could Receive Interest in a Backup Role

Cecil Sapp/Denver Broncos (UFA) - He's seen as a move fullback who can play running back if need be.

Thomas Tapeh/Philadelphia Eagles (UFA) - He's improved over the past few seasons but Tapeh is seen as a marginal starter by some around the league.

Justin Green/Baltimore Ravens (RFA) - Green is an athletic fullback but is seen as an average blocker.

Jim Finn/New York Giants (UFA) - He was actually released recently due in part to the solid play of Madison Hedgecock. Finn isn't really regarded as a top-end blocker and probably is best used as a backup.


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