Robert Tonyan faces an uncertain future with the Packers.
Robert Tonyan has emerged as a key part of the Green Bay Packers‘ offense over the past couple of seasons, finally giving the team the answer it had been searching for at the tight end position.
Unfortunately, his 2021 season has come to an end.
Tonyan went down with a knee injury in the victory over the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday night, and the Packers have confirmed the talented tight end is out for the rest of the season.
For a Packers team already hit with injuries to many of their best players, this is bad news. Tonyan is Mr. Reliable at tight end. He does a bit of everything and is a consistent pass catcher. Since the start of the 2020 season, Tonyan has caught 70 passes for 790 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In the short term, Green Bay needs Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara to take on a bigger role, while potentially looking for more tight end depth.
But what’s next for Tonyan?
What’s next for Robert Tonyan with Packers?
By now, I’m sure you’re aware of Green Bay’s salary-cap issues, both this year and next. According to Over The Cap, the team is currently projected to be around $33 million over the 2022 salary-cap number.
To make matters worse, Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, De’Vondre Campbell, and Lucas Patrick are all free agents.
Tonyan, too, will be a free agent in the spring.
Every year, it’s impossible to keep everyone. Next offseason, this will be especially true for the Packers given their lack of salary-cap space.
There’s no doubting Tonyan’s importance to this offense. He rarely drops the ball and is an excellent red-zone target.
But the fact is the Packers simply won’t be able to re-sign everybody. Most of their free agents won’t be returning. And as of right now, we still don’t know what’s next for Aaron Rodgers. Tonyan will be coming off a significant injury and turns 28 in the spring. A multi-year deal would likely extend well into his 30s.
Would the Packers love to have Tonyan back? You bet. Is it possible he’s played his final snap in Green Bay? As tough as it would be to lose him, it’s absolutely a real possibility.