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Packers officially re-sign ERFA Robert Tonyan

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Packers officially re-sign ERFA Robert Tonyan

-- The Green Bay Packers officially retained one of their own on Monday.

Tight end and exclusive rights free agent Robert Tonyan will be back with the team on a one-year deal for 2019, according to the league transaction wire. They re-signed wide receiver Jake Kumerow on Sunday as well.

Tonyan, 24, was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Indiana State in 2017 but didn't make the opening-day roster out of training camp.

The Packers acquired Tonyan during the regular season and he spent the final month on their roster. Tonyan was eventually one of five players to ink a futures deal with the Packers at the conclusion of the season, ensuring he'll be on the roster for 2018.

Tonyan managed to see the field last season for all 16 games, catching four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. His most notable play was a 54-yard touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks in November.

The Packers have a promising developmental prospect in Tonyan, but may still prioritize the tight end position in the draft later this month. They re-signed Marcedes Lewis this offseason as well as picked up Jimmy Graham's roster bonus, rounding out that group and providing an opportunistic landing spot for a rookie tight end.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Somedumbname's picture

Well done.

xezonara465's picture


4thand10's picture

I’m excited about him, he did great in preseason and did great at the end of the year. I’m rooting for him and I hope he makes the jump.

Pizzadoc's picture

That one catch was dope.

dblbogey's picture

Still need to draft a tight end somewhere in the first 4 picks.

Guam's picture

There is not much playing time available with Graham and Lewis in the fold. I can't see expending a #1 or #2 on a player that isn't going to play much. I would prefer a developmental TE in the third round or later.

porupack's picture

what you call "developmental player' doesn't mean he'll develop, just because you get a low round player that is far from capable of starting, let alone an impact.....and then just say, he's for developing. We will need another tight end ready to start next year, and better be more than a JAG. Been enough said about the impact an elite TE could have to catalyze the offense and attack the middle of the field, and open up the WR routes.

Guam's picture

I believe Graham has two years left on his contract so there is no guarantee that we need another TE in 2020. Most TE's in the NFL were drafted in the third round or later. Some work out and some don't but being drafted later doesn't automatically mean they are a JAG. I believe we need a TE, but I also believe we have positions of greater need and I would prefer we use our top draft choices on those spots. Just a different opinion...…..

Old School's picture

We committed to Graham, resigned Lewis, and now just two weeks prior to the draft we sign Tonyan. Does any of that make sense if you are planning to draft a TE early.?

Daren726's picture

I hope they give big Bob a chance and he doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, especially if they draft another TE. He looked really good last year.

HankScorpio's picture

Tight End is a big-deal for ML's offense. Signing an EFRA guy doesn't move the needle much. He's just another of the guys that generates excitement in the offseason but is really dicey to count on to be more than "just a guy"

IMO, the position is completely devoid of any kind of talent. Graham is all done and Lewis is a vet min kind of guy. I have no idea why either were retained for 2019 and hope they realize counting on one or both for 2020 is downright foolish.

I'd love to see them get one of Hockensen or Fant. Probably not at 12 and they both might be gone by 30. So a trade down might be the way to go, depending on the board and offers. Then follow up with one from the group of Dawson Knox, Kahale Warring, Drew Sample, Josh Oliver and Foster Moreau. All of those guys fit the athletic profile from which the Packers have drafted over the last few years. If they have to go with 2 guys from the 2nd tier, that's fine too.

Scrum's picture

"devoid" of any kind of talent.

Please log off.

Samson's picture

Actually, "devoid of talent" may be the best description. -- Why do most believe GB will draft a TE early?

stockholder's picture

Another guy wasting time and effort. Tonyan is why I can see Fant @ 30 or Jace Sternberger. He dropped Kizers pass for a first down. His hands are worse then Richard Rodgers. Lewis is another that must go. I understand packer fans screaming for Hock and Fant. But the problems at TE just can't be fixed when the defense has bigger holes.

Coldworld's picture

RR had great hands so not saying much. Good news is that Tonyan is a lot more sudden than RR.

Posted before I read JS’s comment below.

Jonathan Spader's picture

"His hands are worse then Richard Rodgers."

Most people's hands are worse than Rochard Rodgers. That was his one redeeming quality he caught everything thrown his way. If you want to insult someone say their hands are worse than Finley.

stockholder's picture

Richard Rodgers was no speed,No block, Fall down. MM had no business lining him up wide. Let's remember A-Rod was after YAC.

porupack's picture

Stockholder; Did I miss something? Is Richard Rodgers back on the team? Is Tonyan gone, now already? I'm confused.

porupack's picture

Stockholder; Did I miss something? Is Richard Rodgers back on the team? Is Tonyan gone, now already? I'm confused.

porupack's picture

Stockholder; Did I miss something? Is Richard Rodgers back on the team? Is Tonyan gone, now already? I'm confused.

Samson's picture

The important aspect is: How many TEs on the final 53? -- If you keep 4 TEs on the 53, how many are active game day? -- If Gute grabs a TE somewhere in the 1st 4 picks & GB decides 3 TEs is enough, then Tonyan will have trouble cracking the 53 man. -- Tonyan will need a great offseason & preseason & still eventually maybe another team interested in him by late August. -- He's just another UFA hoping to play in the NFL.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Not playing Boyle and Tonyan the last 3 games of last year were a major SNAFU by the Green Bay Packers. They needed the playing experience and now the Packers are not able to properly evaluate these two players potential heading into the upcoming draft. Throw in Rodgers unnecessary 3rd recorded concussion on top of all this.

On the surface both of these players potentially have significant upside from their minimal playing experience. With more playing experience it would help Gute determine 'if and where' in the draft a TE and QB is selected if at all.

jannes bjornson's picture

He sees these guys every day in practice--enough said.

Slim11's picture


McCarthy was never one for using games like you described. I wanted him to give Joe Callahan some quality snaps against the Lions in the last 2017 game. We saw how well that worked out!

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

There are reasons MM was fired and this was one of them IMO! Wouldn't recognize and develop talent sticking with slow old Graham on a bad knee and broken thumb who cannot block trying to catch with one hand. Graham deflected Aaron's only 2 interceptions all year.

Look no further than Aaron Jones for another example!

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