January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates with tight end Jacob Tamme (84) the 26-16 victory against the New England Patriots following the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Tamme Is Still Worth Every Nickel Of His Contract

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PO’s own, Sayre Bedinger, was in the press box for the Broncos’ scrimmage practice at Sports Authority Filed at Mile High. One of his observations about Jacob Tamme, really stood out to me. Tamme made an excellent play in the endzone, executing a one-handed grab for a TD.

See, Julius Thomas was held out of practice today, because of a minor injury. It’s no big deal. The team is simply being cautious. However, it’s no secret that Thomas has had a hard time staying healthy throughout his pro career thus far. Even last year, when he was healthy for most of the year and highly prolific, he still missed some games due to the injury bug.

A few months back, as we fully entered the offseason and began to look ahead to the upcoming season, we started analyzing the roster. Who would stick? Who would be cut? How would the players’ respective contracts and their impact on the salary cap, influence the team and their personnel decisions?

Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme soon became hot topics and prime candidates to be ‘cap casualties’. Dreessen has already been released. Tamme, who has a $3M cap hit for 2014, remains on the roster. And for good reason.

Not long after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, they recruited one of his former tight ends, in Jacob Tamme. We all know that Manning is a creature of habit and familiarity is of vast importance to him.

Tamme came in, back in 2012, and immediately settled in as Manning’s security blanket and the Broncos’ ‘pass-catching tight end’. He had a solid season and certainly contributed to Manning’s franchise record breaking performance and the team’s overall fortunes and placement as the AFC’s #1 seed.

But in 2013, Julius Thomas finally got healthy and he dominated training camp. His performance was so transcendent that it relegated Tamme to backup status. And that’s okay. That’s where Tamme’s value really begins to take shape.

Remember when Thomas was hurt during the Broncos’ matchup, on the road, vs the New England Patriots last year? Tamme stepped in and through a tough, gritty performance, helped the offense execute in terrible conditions and against an intense, hard-hitting defense.

Although the Broncos didn’t win that game, I came out of it thanking the Football Gods that Jacob Tamme is Denver Bronco. There’s no question that Julius Thomas is the Broncos’ first team tight end. But Tamme’s versatility and altruistic ‘team first’ attitude, are just another arrow in the Broncos’ offensive quiver. He and Thomas will prove to be effective weapons in the Broncos 12 personnel packages throughout the season.

Jacob Tamme is worth every nickel of his contract with the Broncos this year. We all hope that Thomas can turn in another season of relative good health, but it helps me to sleep at night, knowing that if the chips are down, we can all bet on Jacob Tamme to step up.

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