Though the Denver Broncos are concerned about his injuries, John Elway reiterated his desire to have TE Jeff Heuerman back in 2019.
The Denver Broncos will be showing interest in tight ends this offseason, whether their own free agent, guys from other teams, or in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Broncos’ own free agent is former third-round pick Jeff Heuerman, who was selected in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Ohio State.
Heuerman missed his entire rookie season (2015) with the Broncos after suffering a torn ACL in his very first rookie minicamp.
Upon his return to the field in 2016, Heuerman played 12 games, again struggling with injuries. That was an unfortunately common theme for him throughout his time in Denver, which included somewhat of a breakout season in 2018.
Heuerman caught 31 passes for 281 yards this past season after missing a good chunk of training camp, catching two touchdown passes and proving himself as a solid all-around option. Then, the injury bug bit hard again, and Heuerman suffered fractured ribs.
Recently married, Heuerman is in a pretty big transition stage at this point in his personal and professional career. The Broncos and specifically John Elway have expressed interest in bringing Heuerman back.
That interest was reiterated to 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis, who spoke with Elway in Indianapolis at the Scouting Combine.
"“We’d like to have Jeff coming back. We thought that he started playing – he had a decent year last year till he broke the ribs. Obviously, the issue with Jeff is he’s been injured a lot in his first four years so that’s the only concern that we have. Other than that we’d love to have him back.”John Elway to Mike Klis"
The Broncos will potentially let Heuerman test free agency. There are a number of teams around the league who need tight ends and Heuerman has an attractive combination of size and athleticism. He’s also a guy who can play in-line, which Elway also talked about as being a rare trait in guys specifically coming out of the NFL Draft.
It stands to reason that the Broncos would like a veteran option at the position since they already have young guys (both with college experience playing in-line) in Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli waiting in the wings.
What the Broncos need is available in free agency, whether in the form of Heuerman or another former high draft pick like Pittsburgh’s Jesse James, Baltimore’s Maxx Williams, Cincinnati’s Tyler Kroft, Tyler Eifert, or C.J. Uzomah, or more of a receiving threat like Jared Cook from Oakland.
This year’s tight end group includes more low risk, high reward options than ‘sure things’ but there are a number of guys who fit the mold of what the Broncos are looking for. Austin Seferian-Jenkins of the Jaguars is another player who could be of interest.
The options will be plenty, but Denver would not mind keeping their own if they can.