TE Jacob Tamme, Free agent
HT: 6-3, WT: 236, Born: 3-15-1985, College: Kentucky, Drafted: Round 4
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Jacob Tamme has long-established chemistry with quarterback Peyton Manning dating back to their days playing together with the Indianapolis Colts. Tamme is not the same player he used to be, but he’s valuable to the Broncos for a few reasons. Tamme can fill in for Julius Thomas as the team’s primary move tight end if Thomas gets banged up. He can still run routes and knows what Manning likes from his targets. Tamme is not the threat after the catch so much anymore, but he can fill in and move the chains. The veteran tight end has worked hard to be a plus-player on special teams. That’s his biggest value for the team now aside from veteran depth. Tamme has a $3.5 million cap number this year with only $500,000 in dead money. This makes him a candidate for release if the team needs to free up some cap space. However, his experience, chemistry and special-teams value means that his roster spot is probably safe.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 12 - On a night when the entire Denver Broncos offense was sputtering, Jacob Tamme joined Knowshon Moreno as the stars of the game. With Julius Thomas inactive, Tamme returned to his role as Denver’s “move” (or receiving) tight end, and his comfort level with Peyton Manning was apparent all game long. For the night, Jacob Tamme had 7 targets. 6 of those 7 targets came on 3rd down. Those targets resulted in a 6-yard gain on 3rd and 5, a 10-yard TD reception on 3rd and 5, an 11-yard gain on 3rd and 5, a drawn defensive pass interference penalty on 3rd and 7, a 12 yard gain on 3rd and 7, and a 3-and-a-half yard gain on 3rd and 4 that would have set up a key 4th-and-inches, but which was called back due to offensive pass interference on Eric Decker. Tamme’s other target was an 8-yard gain on 1st and 10. On a night when nobody could hang on to the ball, Tamme caught everything thrown his way and almost single-handedly kept the chains moving for Denver’s offense.
Week 14 - Forgotten for long stretches during the season with the emergence of Julius Thomas, Jacob Tamme has come on strong in recent weeks. No Broncos player has been a more consistent and reliable target on 3rd downs this season, with 8 of Tamme’s 9 targets this year resulting in a new set of downs. Good things continue to happen when Manning targets Tamme, including Tamme gaining 7 yards and getting out of bounds to set up Matt Prater’s NFL-record 64-yard field goal attempt. After Wes Welker left the game with a concussion, Tamme played every snap but one, usually lined up as the de facto backup slot receiver. If Welker’s injury causes him to miss further time, Tamme stands to be the primary beneficiary.
Week 15 - Jacob Tamme has traditionally been Wes Welker’s backup in the slot, but in a surprise move, Denver opted to use Eric Decker more in the slot while letting Andre Caldwell replace Decker outside. The result is that Jacob Tamme played just 9 snaps against San Diego, earning just two targets. Tamme finished the day with an incomplete on 2nd and 6 and a 9-yard gain on 1st and 10 on Denver’s final drive of the day.
Week 16 - Jacob Tamme split time with Eric Decker in the slot for Denver, receiving three targets for the game. Tamme continued his efficient season, with two targets converting for first downs, and the third gaining 8 yards and getting out of bounds to set up a field goal as time expired in the first half.
Week 17 - Jacob Tamme’s impact on the Denver Broncos continues to outstrip his appearance in the box score, as in addition to his three receptions, Tamme was responsible for making the tackle after Denver had a punt blocked, and was responsible for Denver’s recovery of both of Oakland’s onside kick attempts. As for his work as a receiver, Tamme remains a trusted target on high-leverage downs, doing most of his damage after halftime with Brock Osweiler and the second-string offense. Only one pass thrown his way fell incomplete, and that pass might well have been the catch of the year for the Broncos, as Tamme performed a no-look, 1-handed grab at full extension while tip-toeing the sidelines, only to have the play overturned on replay when it was ruled the ball moved when he hit the ground.