Broncos' TE Jeff Heuerman 'Highly Doubtful' to Return in 2020 per Insider

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos surprised many fans by signing free-agent tight end Nick Vannett last week. The move came as a surprise because nobody viewed the Broncos' tight end room as a position of need. 

And yet, GM John Elway threw money at it, despite having four recent draft picks invested in the position. When the Vannett move was made, the first thought that came to mind was 'Welp. This isn't good for Jeff Heuerman'. 

Now, we're hearing from Broncos insider Mike Klis of KUSA that Heuerman's future in Denver is highly doubtful. 

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The 6-foot-5, 255-pound veteran is entering his sixth NFL season. Heuerman is a relatively complete tight end, in terms of having competency as both a receiver and as a blocker. He's good enough to get by in both cases. 

However, Heuerman is never going to be that game-breaker. He can set the edge in the running game and he'll catch 15-25 passes per year but his ceiling is limited. 

Meanwhile, 2019 first-rounder Noah Fant's floor is about equal to Heuerman's ceiling. Fant brings 4.5 speed and dynamic play-making ability to the table. What he lacks in blocking technique he makes up for with willingness. 

Fant is going to have a huge year under new OC Pat Shurmur. Vannett is poised to serve as the No. 2 TE for when the Broncos choose to run short-yardage and some red zone packages. 

With other developmental TEs still on the roster like Andrew Beck, Troy Fumagalli, Austin Fort and Jake Butt, there's no reason for the Broncos to carry Heuerman's $3 million base salary. In fact, if the team is unable to trade Heuerman — which is likely — straight cutting him would free up $3.875M on the salary cap. 

If indeed Heuerman is destined to be jettisoned, the sooner the Broncos can do it, the better. It'd give Heuerman plenty of time to land on his feet, while giving the team a little more breathing room on the cap. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

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Comments (17)
No. 1-11
BuckinBronco
BuckinBronco

Thanks for your contributions Jeff H. Catch ya later

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

Jano gone. Heuerman probably gone. Vannett in. Denver gets a guy to fill both their offensive roles while freeing up a roster spot. A lot of questions initially about that signing, but it’s become relatively clear what the new coordinator wants to do. Hopefully another pass-catching tight-end can step-up and stay healthy. Pass-catchers like Fant tend to take a lot of damage in that role. A rotational/back-up piece would be valuable.

Sinceiwasalilboy
Sinceiwasalilboy

Who is Jeff Heuerman? Seriously, good move. 600+ career yards and just 5 TDs in 5 years = overly expendable. Best of luck 82!

Brew77
Brew77

With the signing of Vannett and the fact the Broncos can gain 4 million in cap space its Highly Unbelievable that Huermann is still on the roster.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

This was a foregone conclusion as the Broncos paid less for Vannett and got better to boot. Take one fantastic game out of Heuerman's career, and his play looks really pedestrian.

Studlee14
Studlee14

Just curious if anyone has done any research on how many TEs Shurmer has typically carried on his rosters? I think other positions like RBs would also be interesting to look at.

Broncotrueblue
Broncotrueblue

No ifs or ands we till have a Butt and he will be that second tight end

SpokaneBronco
SpokaneBronco

Butt is going to have to step up big time or he will be gone.

Pmanningsir1
Pmanningsir1

I echo all the comments on this story. Vannett adds talent and cheaper than jeff + cap space (good luck on new team); Butt better figure it out fast or one of the developmental TEs will take his place which is what I suspect will happen. In shurmers scheme Jake dont stand a chance at being consistent on that knee. Too bad; he would've fit nicely in that offense.

Chilly303
Chilly303

He may not get traded outright by himself, but take a 5th or 6th round pick with Heuerman and get a 4th or 5th round pick in return.

0range Crush
0range Crush

Yup, time to move on.


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