Tight end Geoff Swaim hasn’t forgotten what got him to this point in his NFL career.
Now that he is staying put with the Tennessee Titans, he does not intend to change much – if anything.
“Obviously, you want your role expanded,” Swaim said. “But the truth is I really like what I do. I like blocking. I’ve done it for a long time, and I’ve made my career on it. Blocking is the natural part of football I love, and I am always excited to do more.”
The Titans formally announced that they signed the veteran tight end to a one-year contract extension ($2.5 million) on Wednesday, the same day they announced a similar extension for fellow tight end Anthony Firkser.
This move came quickly for Swaim, who spent most of the last off-season looking for a contract.
And much like any second contract with a team, it also came with expectations of more opportunities.
In 2020, Swaim appeared in 10 games and started eight. He recorded nine receptions for 83 yards on the year and caught the second touchdown pass of his career.
Compared to tight ends like Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry and his former teammate Jonnu Smith, Swaim’s stats will not give the casual observer a ‘wow’ effect. However, his role in the Titans’ scheme make him a valuable asset on the roster going forward.
Swaim’s primary skill helped running back Derrick Henry become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. It also helped keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill upright for most of the season, leading to a career year for the 32-year old signal-caller.
Thus, the Titans decided they needed more of what Swaim has to offer. And the decision for him to return was mutual.
“I am excited to be back. I have enjoyed getting to know everyone inside the organization,”
Swaim said. “I am just happy to be back with a quality organization that has a good locker room and winning culture.”
One of the draws was the promotion of former tight end coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator. Over the last season, the two built a working relationship that allowed Swaim to figure things out while he received the detail-oriented coaching Downing offered, particularly when it came to some of the finer points of blocking.
“He is not a stubborn dude. He wants to work with you,” Swaim said. “He was open to hearing what I like to do and how I like to do it. It helped me feel free to try to improve. That is what he did really well.
“...I am just very excited to get to keep working with him.”
Both parties know his game may not be flashy like many of the modern tight ends, but he still has value, which is why the Titans were willing to pay him for another season.
“You are always trying to grow and expand your game, but I can’t forget the thing that got me here, which is being a blocker,” Swaim said. “If I am asked to do more, and the opportunity comes then I'll jump all over it.
“In the meantime, I am going to do what I have done in the past which is to block.”