According to Bill Williamson on his AFC West Blog the Denver Broncos have decided to release tight end Daniel Graham. Factors for the decision included his age and dwindling production. In the 2010 season he had 18 catches for 148 yards and 102 catches in his four years with the Broncos. Because Graham was signed to be a blocker and receiving tight end, the Broncos will more than likely seek a similar type of tight end to replace him. Without further adieu then, here is a list of five possible replacements for Graham at tight end.
On paper, Jeff King would appear to be the most likely replacement for Graham at Tight End. Because Coach Fox is most familiar with his work, which consisted of 19 receptions for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, and because he is only 28, he just might be in a Broncos uniform next year.
David Thomas would definitely fill the need for a tight end at least on the receiving end of their duties. With the Saints in 2010 he was able to catch 30 balls for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. One red flag, however, might be his track record in the injury department. In his five years in the NFL, he has played in sixty out of eighty possible games possibly because of injuries.
John Gilmore of the Bucs might be a good pick for the Broncos as well. He caught 13 balls for 160 yards and one touchdown in the 2010 season. As well as being a possible asset for the Broncos on the playing field, he is also likely to be a positive locker room influence judging from his off-the-field community support and charitable activities. One drawback with Gilmore would be his age, which is practically the same as Graham. There would be questions as to how much he would have left in the tank.
This would probably be (in my opinion) the least likely tight end acquisition for the Denver Broncos, because his production in 2010 was actually even less than Daniel Graham's. Nevertheless, he might prove to be an asset if he can regain his 2009 form of 20 receptions for 174 yards and one touchdown.
Bear Pascoe of the Giants would be a bit of another gamble, but this one might pay off because Pascoe is still very young. Last season he caught nine balls for 72 yards. Although the biggest drawback to Pascoe is that he is still an unknown quantity, at only age 25 his best years could be ahead of him. If the Broncos consider him further it would behoove them to do some scouting on his abilities first.
As of this writing, Jeff King would appear to be the most likely candidate. However, to anyone's knowledge no one has discussed this with anyone in the Denver Broncos' organization. Thus, there obviously are tons of other possibilities and no one has at this juncture made a concrete decision on anything from TE to starting QB. There is a strong possibility that Denver might sign a different tight end not on this list or even draft a tight end. Like everything else in Denver Bronco-land, it will be interesting how this all plays out.
NOTE: Bill Williamson's article on the release of Daniel Graham can be read at: http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/24940/broncos-feel-need-for-change-at-tight-end