Raiders Rumors: Ex-Colts TE Erik Swoope Agrees to 1-Year Contract

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIMay 22, 2019

Indianapolis Colts tight end Erik Swoope (86) in action against the New York Jets during an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Brad Penner/AP Images for Panini)
Brad Penner/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders have signed former Indianapolis Colts tight end Erik Swoope to a one-year contract Tuesday evening, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

A vacancy at tight end was created for the Raiders when Jared Cook left in free agency and signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Swoope spent most of his five NFL seasons in Indianapolis after going undrafted out of Miami. His best season came in 2016, appearing in 16 games (four starts) and recording 15 receptions for 297 yards and a touchdown.

The first two seasons of his NFL career resulted in one played game, and a knee scope stemming from knee pain experienced in training camp derailed his 2017 campaign. While last season saw the 27-year-old play only seven games, he scored a career-high three touchdowns.

The fact that Swoope has scored an NFL touchdown at all is unlikely given his four years at Miami were spent on the basketball team. He had never played organized football prior to the Colts signing him. In December 2016, the Sun Sentinel's Shandel Richardson dove into Swoope's background:

"'I thought [Miami coach Jim Larranaga] was joking [about interest from NFL scouts]," said Swoope, who averaged five points and 2.7 rebounds his senior season at UM. 'I had never played a day in my life. I watched some football. My older brother and my dad played football, but aside from that my life was basketball.'

"The reason for the interest was simple. At 6'5" and 257 pounds, Swoope was considered a 'tweener' on the basketball court because he had no true position. On the football field, those dimensions combined with athleticism were a perfect fit for tight end."

The Raiders must have seen something they liked about Swoope's hybrid athleticism during his workout earlier Tuesday, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Head coach Jon Gruden had described on May 3 the team's tight end position as a "logjam."

Swoope joins Darren Waller, Luke Willson and Foster Moreau at the position. Oakland signed Willson as a free agent in March and drafted Moreau out of LSU in the fourth round of this year's draft.

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