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Packers to Sign TE Marcedes Lewis

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Packers to Sign TE Marcedes Lewis

-- The free agent signing period doesn't have to have a culmination point. In fact, it's continuing through the month of May for Brian Gutekunst.

On Thursday, former Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis announced that he was signing with the Green Bay Packers, making him the fourth free agent signing in Gutekunst's first offseason as the team's general manager.

Lewis was released by the Jaguars back in March just a week into free agency, a gesture in which he felt was "disrespectful" after the 33-year-old tight end served 12 seasons in Jacksonville.

Renowned as one of the league's top -- and underrated -- blockers, Lewis is expected to play a similar role with the Packers. They had lacked a true tight end on the roster capable of holding up in blocking support.

That's even after signing Jimmy Graham, who will serve primarily more as a receiver rather than a traditional tight end, regardless of what his position on the official roster says.

Outside of excelling in the blocking department, Lewis can also function as a red zone threat. Four of the five passes he caught inside the 20-yard line in 2017 were for touchdowns.

Lance Kendricks, who the Packers signed last offseason in a pairing with Martellus Bennett, isn't exactly out the door just because the Packers signed Lewis. Barring Lewis winning the tight end competition in training camp, Kendricks may very well be the Packers' starting tight end at the moment.

Even still, a duo of Kendricks and Lewis with Graham split either out wide or lined up in the slot is a dynamic trio that is far superior compared to what the Packers had in the cupboard before.

In addition to the aforementioned group, Emanuel Byrd, Kevin Rader, Ryan Smith and Robert Tonyan are the other tight ends on the Packers' roster. Of the four, Byrd is the only one with regular season experience after seeing limited action in last year's season finale in Detroit.

There should be a fair amount of competition at the tight end position this summer, but Lewis is by far the most experienced of the bunch. He's third on the Jaguars' all-time career receiving yards list (4,502) and second in touchdowns (33).

Lewis is the fifth tight end the Packers have signed since March 2016: first Jared Cook, then Bennett and Kendricks in 2017, now Graham and Lewis in 2018.


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 (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bbarryirish's picture

Excellent! Go Gute.
He will also help protect “The Franchise”.

HankScorpio's picture

Even at 34, Lewis might be able to increase his pass game production from last year. It'll be Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, not Blake Bortles.

Otto's picture

I watched a video of his TDs last year. Yeesh...
Bortles didn't make any of his TDs easy to catch.

4thand1's picture

Right on Hank JS, Look what AR did for Cook. He will work well with an experienced TE, now 2 of em.

Wiscokid's picture

Good signing. Anyone who can help keep QB1 upright is a welcome addition

Matt Dicob's picture

Ummmm...the only jersey number available in the eighties is #87. That might present an awkward situation.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

To make it clearer, the Jaquars picked up Lewis' $3.5M option, thereby retaining his rights and making him ineligible to negotiate as a free agent when FA began. But the option wasn't guaranteed, so when they signed a cheaper blocking TE (Niles Davis IIRC), they released him a week later w/o having to pay Lewis anything. Good for the team and legal, but it may have hurt Lewis, who had played his whole 12-year career with Jax. That is why he felt disrespected.

That is the way it goes in the NFL and in the real world as well.

lebowski's picture

I'm more impressed with our new GM every week. Great signing this late.

I bleed green more's picture

BG has done this in a short time. What will he do in the future he is not boring that is for sure.

4thand1's picture


Tundraboy's picture

Huge upgrade from RRod. Go Brian keep it up.

Bure9620's picture

Lewis is the diametric opposite of Graham, slow, plodding and a devastating blocker, a good compliment. Some huge red zone targets for Rodgers now. I wonder how his production would have been with a Qb other than Bortles.....

Nick Perry's picture

....Lewis is 6'6" and make no mistake about it was brought in to be a blocker and an occasional red-zone target. He'll also provide some veteran depth in the event Kendricks or Graham has to sit out a game or two with a injury.

BUT... Can you imagine the receivers the Packers have at their disposal when they get to the red-zone?

Graham is 6'7"
Lewis is 6'6"
St. Brown is 6'5"
Valdes Scantling is 6'4"
Moore 6'3"

Plus Adams, Allison and Cobby.... LOL!!! Hell the Packers have a basketball team now!

Crackerpacker's picture

You could also include Clark at 6' 6"

Bure9620's picture

If Micheal Clark made the 53, then an additional, 6'6" target as well.....

A Pickled Packer's picture

I wrote that this guy is over the hill and weshould go with 2 fullbacks and keep Kerride. I was wrong. How good Will our running game be now. The chargers tight end just got hurt. Maybe we can trade Kendricks and pick up another draft pick.

davfar's picture

I feel much better about signing these two TEs than I did about last's years two signings. Here's to a position of strength for a change.

Since '61's picture

With this signing our TE position group is looking better than it has in a very long time. Thanks, Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

It is an excellent pickup at a critical position need. IAMGUTE has filled every position hole that could not be filled in via the draft or FA. Can not underestimate the relief on the offense this signing does.

elisawise's picture

He will work well with an experienced TE, now 2 of em.

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