The tight end position is one of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest weaknesses entering the 2016 off-season and the one player they have at the spot that set to be a free agent is Andrew Quarless.
The six-year veteran was drafted in the fifth round out of Penn State in 2010. And over the course of his career, he has never been more than a backup in Green Bay. And now, with the two-year deal he signed, completed, he is once again hitting the free-agent market.
The questions is, whether or not the Packers should consider bringing him back?
Many already believe that the answer to this question is no. After all, Quarless is 27, coming off an injury-riddled campaign and never more than a reserve player anyways. So why would he be worth another contract?
Well, maybe because he can still be a productive player. Before being injured for most of 2015, he put in back-to-back seasons with more than 300 yards. He caught 62 passes in that span and actually turned into a fairly productive blocker.
Quarless is a good athlete and does a good job of getting up the seam. He did that for the Packers in 2013 and 2014 and it’s possible he could do it again in 2016.
I am not advocating Green Bay give him a big deal. In fact, I think an offer of a one-year for slightly more than the veteran minimum, with a bit of guaranteed money would do the trick. That way if he gets hurt or simply has lost a step, the Packers can cut him come training camp — no harm, no foul.
And even if the Packers add someone else to the roster that it better than him, there is definitely room for three tight ends on the 53-man roster and Quarless could very well be one of those guys.
Quarless can catch the ball, block effectively and has had plenty of experience on special teams. He is the kind of veteran player you can fill your roster with and the type of player Ted Thompson has generally shied away from.
However, in this instance, I think that might be a mistake.
The Packers should work to secure Quarless and that way, they will have less pressure to bring in an outside veteran. I think either way, Green Bay will add a young tight end at some point, but if not, having a healthy Quarless back in the fold wouldn’t hurt and it also wouldn’t cost much to get it done.