The New Orleans Saints said that they were going to be okay at the tight end position after trading Jimmy Graham with head coach Sean Payton giving the nod to Josh Hill.
Benjamin Watson has been getting a lot of attention during organized team activities and has been the main pass catcher so far.
But the Saints did show they were still in the market for another veteran presence when they brought free agent Jermaine Gresham in for a visit close to a week ago.
Those that have read my articles on the need for another tight end who has experience knows I was all in favor of bringing someone like Gresham in.
Well another player has recently become available and is someone who the Saints should at least take a look at if he clears the waiver wire and that is Tim Wright.
Nov 23, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Tim Wright (81) celebrates his touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Wright was released by the New England Patriots today and will have to make the rounds on the waiver wire before the Saints have a shot.
Really the Saints could put in a claim as well but if he makes it that far will be the question.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport actually suggested the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could take a chance on Wright.
What Rapoport is referring to is that the Patriots actually traded guard Logan Mankins to the Bucs in exchange for a 2015 fourth round pick and Wright during August of last year.
Wright was signed by the Bucs after going undrafted out of Rutgers in 2013 where he made the switch from wide receiver to tight end.
Former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano who was in the same role with the Bucs gladly snatched up his former player after the draft to add depth to the tight end corps.
Although a rookie, he started 8 of 16 games where he had 54 catches for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 10.5 yards per catch.
After the trade to the Patriots, Wright played in 11 games and started in 2 of them.
For the 2014 season he ended up with 26 receptions for 259 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 10 yards a catch.
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Wright’s yardage went down for the year due to the fact he only played 367 snaps or basically which averaged out to 26.6% of offensive plays(per Pro Football Focus).
Another reason is that Wright was also utilized in short passes usually targeted towards the middle of the field in the redzone where four of his touchdowns came from.
The knock, if that’s what you’d like to call it, on Wright is that he’s not the prototypical size you’s want in a tight end at 6’4″ and 220 lbs.
Oct 11, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Devin Funchess (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
He almost draws a comparison to Carolina Panthers rookie Devin Funchess who at 6’4″, 232 lbs. was considered to be a tweener going into the 2015 NFL Draft as a wide receiver/tight end hybrid.
Granted Wright is not going to blow the numbers up with PFF rating him at -0.4 overall as a tight end with a -0.5 in receiving but a +0.5 in pass blocking and +0.7 in run blocking.
With some questions still at the position and with the Gresham visit showing their hand a bit, the Saints look to still have their eyes on a tight end who can be a threat in the redzone.
Whether it’s the waiver wire or as a free agent, they should definitely give Wright a look……