NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans have finally added a veteran tight end. And it is one they know well.
Luke Stocker has agreed to terms, the team announced Saturday. The 33-year-old is a 10-year veteran who played 19 games for Tennessee during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
At 6-foot-5, 253 pounds, he has a well-earned reputation as a traditional blocking tight end. In 130 career games with three teams (the Titans, Tampa Bay and Atlanta) he has just 83 receptions for 693 yards and five touchdowns.
"I think somebody with that many snaps of blocking a defensive end straight across from him at the professional level, you always love adding pieces like that," offensive coordinator Todd Downing said.
In his one full season with Tennessee, which was Mike Vrabel’s first as head coach (2018), Stocker caught 15 passes, one short of his career-high, for 165 yards, which tied the most in his career. He also had two touchdown receptions, the only time in his career he had more than one in a season. His last NFL touchdown came on Dec. 30, 2018 against Indianapolis, his last game with Tennessee.
Stocker spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Titans used four tight ends last season. Two of them, Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim, re-signed this offseason. The other two, Jonnu Smith and MyCole Pruitt, signed with New England and San Francisco, respectively, as unrestricted free agents.
Training camp opened with six tight ends on the roster, but four never have played in an NFL. Two of them are rookies who went undrafted this year.
Of those four, Tommy Hudson, an undrafted free agent in 2020, is the only one who has any sort of experience in Tennessee’s offense. He spent last season on the practice squad.
Hudson also is the one who is most directly effected by Stocker’s addition. At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, he is a traditional blocking tight end, and he now has a lot more competition for a roster spot and playing time.
"He brings that veteran presence," Downing said. "He has seen a lot of defenses. He is tough, he is gritty, he is smart, he is plug-and-play, knew the system. Excited to have Luke (Stocker) around."