Packers 2023 free agency profile: Will Robert Tonyan return?

Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Like last year, Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan is a free agent.

Returning from a season-ending injury, Tonyan signed a one-year deal to stay in Green Bay. After playing all 17 games for the Packers this past season, did Tonyan do enough to land a multi-year deal?

Why should the Packers re-sign Robert Tonyan this offseason, and why shouldn’t they?

Why the Packers re-sign Robert Tonyan

Tonyan is a solid starting tight end. He can block and contribute as a receiver.

We’ve seen how good Tonyan can be. In the 2020 season, he caught 52 passes for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. He regularly made plays in the red zone and was one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets.

Returning from a significant injury this season, Tonyan set new career-highs in targets and receptions, showing Rodgers still trusted him.

Even if the Packers use an early draft pick on a tight end, keeping Tonyan would give a rookie time to develop without needing to become the TE1 immediately.

A combination of re-signing Tonyan and using an early-round draft pick at tight end might be the best option for Green Bay this offseason.

Why the Packers don’t re-sign Robert Tonyan

Green Bay needs to upgrade at tight end this offseason. While Tonyan has shown he can make a difference as a pass-catcher in the past, we didn’t see this enough in 2022.

Despite setting career-bests in targets and receptions, he only put up 470 receiving yards and two touchdowns, averaging a career-worst 8.9 yards per reception.

According to Pro Football Reference, Tonyan’s average depth of target was just 5.8 yards, another career-low.

Tonyan made a lot of receptions, but he didn’t make enough explosive plays like we’ve seen from him in the past.

The Packers should make the most of a deep tight end class in this year’s draft.