The Atlanta Falcons announced earlier today that they signed former Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme, following on the heels of their announced signing of ex-Seattle Seahawks guard Jared Smith yesterday evening. Word first broke last night by the Denver Post that Tamme was visiting the Falcons around the same time that Smith’s signing was announced. Tamme reportedly agreed to a two-year contract while the terms of Smith’s deal were undisclosed.
Tamme, 30, likely moves into the starting lineup for the Falcons at tight end, replacing Levine Toilolo in that role. The Falcons represent a new challenge for Tamme, who has played his entire career with quarterback Peyton Manning. In fact, of Tamme’s 178 career receptions for 1,703 yards and 10 touchdowns, all but 24 of those receptions for 232 yards and one touchdown have been delivered by Manning himself. Most of that latter production came in 2011 when Manning sat out the season with a neck injury.
Tamme’s career began with the Indianapolis Colts, who selected him out of Kentucky in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Tamme played little on offense his first two seasons, catching just six passes over that span. But in 2010, with starting tight end Dallas Clark missing most of the season, Tamme set career-highs with 67 catches, 631 yards and four touchdowns. The following year with the loss of Manning, the Colts saw a significant dip in quarterback play and thus Tamme’s production suffered.
Tamme followed Manning to Denver in 2012 and caught 52 passes for 555 yards and two scores. Tamme managed to outproduce the Broncos’ actual starting tight end in Joel Dreessen that season due to his rapport with Manning. Tamme’s production took a hit in 2013 due to the emergence of Julius Thomas as the starter as well as the addition of wide receiver Wes Welker. Tamme caught just 20 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in 2013. His production diminished again in 2014 with 14 catches for 106 yards and two scores.
Smith, 25, is a former seventh-round pick by the Seahawks in 2013. In fact, he was selected just two slots ahead of current Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael. Smith played defensive tackle in college at New Hampshire, collecting 10.5 sacks during his career. He made the switch to offensive guard upon joining the Seahawks, earning his way onto their practice squad as a rookie. However, he suffered a knee injury a few weeks into the season and was placed on injured reserve. He was re-signed by the team after the season but was released with an injury settlement before the start of 2014’s training camp. He has been out of football ever since.
In Atlanta, Smith will be joining Adam Replogle, another college defensive tackle that is trying to make the switch to the offensive line. He’ll complete for a reserve role with the Falcons this summer.