First up his the TE Joel Dreessen. The Denver Broncos agreed to terms with tight end Joel Dreessen on Friday, Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway announced.
Dreessen (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) is a seventh-year player who has seen time in 91 career games (34 starts) with the Texans (2007-11) and the Jets (2005), totaling 110 receptions for 1,364 yards (12.4 avg.) with 13 touchdowns. He also played in two playoff contests for Houston last season.
He started at least 10 games in each of the last three seasons with the Texans, averaging 30 receptions, 397 receiving yards and nearly four touchdowns per campaign over that span.
Originally selected by the Jets in the sixth round (198th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft, Dreessen attended Colorado State University, where he was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference First Team honoree. He finished his Rams career with 123 receptions for 1,295 yards (10.5 avg.) and 10 touchdowns.
An all-state performer at Fort Morgan (Colo.) High School, Dreessen was born on July 26, 1982 in Ida Grove, Iowa.
Second up is another Tight End and a former teammate of Manning. Not too long after signing former Jets and Texans tight end Joel Dreessen, the Broncos signed former Indianapolis Colt Jacob Tamme, who became a household name in 2010 when Dallas Clark missed a ton of time with injury, and the former Kentucky product finished with 67 receptions for 631 yards and four scores.
Speaking of Clark, this move likely indicates that the former Iowa Hawkeye and one of Manning's favorite targets during the last few years in Indianapolis likely won't be coming to Denver. The Broncos also have Julius Thomas and Virgil Green to go along with their new toys at the tight end position, so let's get to know Tamme a little bit more.
The Broncos agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Tamme. According to Jason La Canfora, Tamme (6-4, 236) will receive $3.5M in guarantees as part of a $9.5M deal.
Tamme, who turned 27 last week, is entering his fifth NFL season after Indy drafted him in the fourth round of the 2008 Draft. In 60 games with the Colts, 14 of them starts, the Kentucky alum collected 92 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns.
During the 2010 season (when Peyton Manning was last active), Tamme was targeted by Manning 98 times for 72 receptions, 342 YAC, and four touchdowns; throws his way resulted in three interceptions and seven drops, but he did not fumble. PFF graded him at plus-4.5 overall (8.5 pass, -1.3 pass block, 1.5 screen block, -3.9 run block, and -0.3 penalty), while in 2011, without Manning, his rating dropped to minus-3.0 (1.2 pass, -4.7 run block, 0.5 penalty).
It is interesting that we picked up two TEs. Both these guys are young and will be starters but what does that mean for Green and Thomas? Nothing really. Both these guys are here to replace Fells and Rosario. We will carry 4 TEs into next season the same as we did last year. All 4 will probably feature at some point.
The third and finally signing for the Broncos is a guy I said we should look at and go after, and that is Caleb Hanie. The Broncos added former CSU Ram and Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie, who agreed to a two-year deal; Hanie (6-2, 222) spent four seasons in Chicago backing up former Broncos Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler, going winless in four starts last year after Cutler broke his thumb.
When Cutler departed the 2010 NFC title game with a knee injury, and backup Todd Collins was yanked due to ineffectiveness, the third-string Hanie surprisingly rallied the Bears to two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Packers to give his team a chance. But sandwiched between those scores was a stunning pick-six by behemoth nose tackle B.J. Raji, and a fourth-down Sam Shields interception short-circuited a potential game-tying drive, sending the Packers to SB 45, where they defeated the Steelers.
Hanie has appeared in 11 career regular-season games, completing just 59 of 116 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns against a woeful 10 interceptions.
Presumably, the Broncos will draft a developmental prospect next month to groom behind Peyton Manning. The failure to do so by Bill Polian contributed to the Colts going 2-14 last year, unleashing a shocking chain of events that culminated in Polian's ouster and Manning signing with Denver.
Hanie has taken some heat for not being very good and struggling when he has started. The thing is anyone would struggle behind the Bears O-Line, terrible is an understatement for how bad they are, maybe 'Turnstile' is a better comparison. Hanie is extremely talented player but lacks the mental side of the game. I would prefer to see him sit and learn for a few years. It would be better if he was the third QB and we had a veteran as a back up to Manning.
Other NewsHappy Birthday to Peyton Manning, he turned 36 today. Interesting article here on some presents that he may like.
Saints agreed to terms with MLB Curtis Lofton on a five-year contract.
According to FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez, the Redskins' cap penalties could hinder contract talks with free agent ILB London Fletcher.
The Broncos are interested in re-signing free agent OLB/DE Jason Hunter. Hunter appeared in all 16 games last season, but made just two starts one year after making 12. He notched 21 tackles and one sack. He's received no known outside interest since the start of free agency.
Free agent SS Brian Dawkins says his neck injury is 100 percent recovered, and the numbness is gone from his fingers. Dawkins describes his late-season injury as a pinched nerve that simply needed recovery time. The 38-year-old remains undecided about playing in 2012. After Mike Adams signed in Denver, Dawkins may not be welcomed back. I would expect him to be back this year.
Another weekend in the books and more still to happen ~ Aussie.