Packers 2021 free agency: Ranking best tight ends available

Green Bay Packers, Jared Cook (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jared Cook (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Entering free agency, it seems unlikely the Green Bay Packers will be in the market for a new tight end.

That said, Robert Tonyan is a restricted free agent so there’s no guarantee he’ll be back in 2021, although it seems likely the Packers will find a way to keep him in Green Bay.

Even if we assume Tonyan returns, what if the Packers decided to sign a free-agent tight end who can help the No. 1 scoring offense get even stronger in 2021?

Let’s look at the top five free-agent tight ends this offseason.

1. Hunter Henry

Hunter Henry is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in football with 2,322 yards and 21 touchdowns in four seasons.

However, there are a number of reasons why he almost certainly won’t be playing for the Packers next fall.

One is the Chargers could decide to franchise tag him. Even if he does hit free agency, we can likely forget about the Packers being able to make an offer that can compete with other teams searching for a tight end.

2. Jonnu Smith

How about a reunion between Matt LaFleur and Jonnu Smith? LaFleur knows Smith well as he was his offensive coordinator in Tennessee in 2018.

Smith is coming off a breakout season with eight receiving touchdowns. But with Spotrac projecting he’ll make $8 million per year, it’s unlikely the Packers will be looking to sign Smith this spring.

3. Rob Gronkowski

The least likely of all is the Packers signing Rob Gronkowski. Gronk came out of retirement to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. If he’s back in 2021, it’ll be to play with Brady again.

4. Jared Cook

Jared Cook made one of the plays of the decade for the Packers during his one season in Green Bay. How about a reunion? Cook was released by the Saints but is still a talented pass-catcher with 1,209 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Aaron Rodgers built a good connection with Cook in 2016. Could we see it again? Never say never.

5. Gerald Everett

Gerald Everett was also coached by LaFleur with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. In four seasons with the Rams, Everett has 1,389 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He’s only missed three games. Everett could be a nice complement to Tonyan at tight end.