The Denver Broncos won’t be re-signing Julius Thomas, but might be one of the teams to look for an answer to their tight end situation by going after Charles Clay, until recently with the Miami Dolphins.
In fact, as good and useful as Thomas has been for the Broncos in recent years, Clay might be better. After all, he had Ryan Tannehill, not Peyton Manning, throwing to him. And yet, his numbers from the last two seasons (127 receptions, 1364 yards, 9 touchdowns) are just as good if not better than those of Thomas (108 receptions, 1277 yards, 24 touchdowns), at least in some categories.
The Broncos are going to need more than just one tight end. Thomas is hitting free agency and probably won’t be coming back, but the depth is gone too, as Virgil Green and Jacob Tamme are also heading into free agency. John Elway has spoken about the strength of the position in the draft, but the Broncos are going to need free agents to help them fill up the position as well.
Clay is drawing interest from quite a few other teams, possibly more than others coming from the Buffalo Bills, who have been longing for a productive and useful tight end for several years. Maybe they need to take care of their quarterback issues first. The Broncos might not have an MVP-caliber playing in Peyton Manning anymore, but their situation at QB is a bit safer right now.
Clay, 26, has been in the NFL since 2011, a sixth round pick by the Dolphins. He wasn’t a very big part of the offense until the last couple of seasons, finishing last season with 58 receptions on 84 targets for 605 yards and three touchdowns.