Just like former teammate Brandon Marshall did yesterday, Denver Broncos' tight end Tony Scheffler has signed his one-year tender with the team, making a trade much easier, and much more likely leading into the 2010 NFL Draft .
With little information being discussed on Scheffler's status or future with the team, we are left to reflect on his past displeasure with Josh McDaniels, his contract, and his role in the offense.
The truth is, more likely than not, Scheffler has played his final down in Denver, and is set to become the third big-name Denver offensive player to be shipped to another team.
Just like the trades involving Donovan McNabb, Santonio Holmes , and Brandon Marshall did, Scheffler's potential trade could also completely change the shape of the first and/or second-round of this month's NFL Draft .
Here's a look at the top three landing spots Scheffler could find himself in. And if Marshall's sign and trade was any indication, it could happen as early as tomorrow.
The Bengals are one of two teams that could realistically spend their first-round pick on a tight end this year,as they haven't had an elite tight end in years.
They tried making Chase Coffman their franchise tight end last year, but everyone in the organization has quickly caught on that he may not be an ideal fit. Whether it's nagging injuries or his inability to consistently block at a high level, Coffman simply isn't living up to his selection.
Scheffler could come in and provide Carson Palmer with the best tight end he's ever had the luxury of throwing to, bringing great speed and play-making ability for the position.
Kansas City is in desperate needs of an elite tight end, as they lost Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta in a trade last off-season, and don't have an answer for the future currently on their roster.
Scheffler would give them an excellent pass-catching tight end with great confidence and toughness over the middle, as well as an ability to make tough and (especially for a tight end) acrobatic catches.
He's not the best blocker in the world, but the Chiefs do have solid blocking tight ends already on their roster. Scheffler would give Matt Cassel another big, athletic target, and could become a big part of a growing Kansas City offense.
It'd be questionable at best to see Josh McDaniels actually trade Scheffler to a team in the AFC West , but judging by McDaniels' history with trades and overall decision-making, you just never know.
The Ravens, along with the Bengals, are another team (ironically, also in the AFC North ), who could really use an upgrade at tight end.
Veteran Todd Heap isn't what he used to be, is getting older, and has been very inconsistent, even when healthy.
Heap had a better 2009 than many expected, but his speed and explosiveness is gone, and he'll be a health risk for the rest of his career. L.J. Smith, a free agent acquisition last off-season, has been an utter disappointment, and is not a long-term answer.
Scheffler actually plays a lot like Heap did in his day, and offers arguably even better speed and athleticism. Scheffler still has a long ways to go as a complete tight end, but his play-making ability from the position could be the missing piece of an offense that is already built to compete for the Super Bowl.
The Bengals, Chiefs, and Ravens are easily the top three teams in need of tight end help, and all three wouldn't blink an eye about losing a third-round pick for a young, quality right end.
However, there still could be other teams interested enough to get involved. The Carolina Panthers haven't had a legit threat at tight end since the days of Wesley Walls, while the St. Louis Rams, and Jacksonville Jaguars could both use upgrades at tight end.
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