Last week when news broke that the Packers and Jared Cook were not going to come to an agreement on a contract, I was upset. The Packers offense is so much better with a legit weapon at the tight end position. All I was thinking about was going into the season with Richard Rodgers as the Packers number one tight end. Well Ted put my mind at ease shortly after that in a big way. I wrote a piece last month about potential offensive free agents that make sense for the Packers. In it, I mentioned Martellus Bennett. I never thought it was going to happen. When I wrote that, it was literally a wish. Well my wish was granted and then some. Not only did Ted sign Bennett to a three year deal worth 21 million dollars (a bargain in my opinion), but the next day he added former Badger tight end and Milwaukee native Lance Kendricks for two years at four million dollars.   This is the most talent the Packers have had at tight end in years. In a matter of 24 hours it went from a position of need to an area of strength. The Packers will be able to do more on offense now in both the passing and running game with two talented, all around tight ends. Last season, it was a rarity to see the Packers run a two tight end set. That figures to change in a big way in 2017.

 

 

We have seen teams have tremendous success with two tight end formations. The obvious team that comes to mind is the Patriots. The combination of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski was very productive. Last year Martellus Bennett was the number two tight end for the Patriots. We didn’t really get to see the Bennett/Gronkowski duo very long due to injury, but they were effective in the brief time they were on the field together. We know the talent Bennett has, having seen him twice a year with the Bears and watching him win the Super Bowl in New England. We can expect him to jump right in a produce immediately. Kendricks is the interesting one. He was a second round pick of the Rams back in 2011 and had spent his entire career with them before signing with Green Bay. It will be interesting to see what he can do with a top tier quarterback throwing him the ball. The quality of quarterback he has played with up to this point of his career has left a lot to be desired. Last season, the Packers two new tight ends combined for 105 catches, exactly 1,200 yards, and nine touchdowns. It’s safe to think that number will be higher next year with Kendricks catching passes from Aaron Rodgers instead of Case Keenum and Jared Goff.

Image via Clutchpoints.com

 

Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff are going to have a good problem on their hands this offseason. Figuring out ways to utilize both of these players’ strengths and get them on the field together as often as possible. Assuming everyone stays healthy, and they fill the holes vacated by Eddie Lacy and TJ Lang, the Packers offense should put up a lot of points this season. The Packers will have mismatches all over the field, as long as they keep 12 upright, it will be a fun season on the offensive side of the ball. The defense, well that’s a whole different story.

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