For those of you out there screaming for more competition at the tight end position, you will be happy to know that your calls for more help have been answered. Maybe not to the degree that you were shouting for, but the signing of Erik Swoope from the Colts to a 1 year deal is still an answer of sorts none the less.
The 6’4, 255lb Swoope was an undrafted free agent signing by the Colts who managed to stick around with the team for 4 years until the end of 2018. He appeared in 24 regular season games for the Colts and has 23 receptions for 384 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was a project signing from the beginning though and actually had appeared to be coming into his own in 2016 when he started 4 games for the Colts and had 15 of his 23 receptions for 297 yards. That was an impressive 19.8 yards per reception, though he only had one touchdown.
Unfortunately he missed the 2017 season and was back to being relegated to spot duty in 2018 where he caught 8 of his 10 targets for 87 yards in 7 games for the Colts. On the bright side, 3 of those 8 catches were for touchdowns. He was released mid season and claimed by the Saints but New Orleans cut him the next day after failing his physical.
Erik Swoope enters a crowded tight end group battling to replace Jared Cook for the Raiders. He joins Luke Willson who was signed this off-season, converted WR Darren Waller who impressed in minimal opportunities in 2018 for Oakland, and tight end Foster Moreau who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The position is probably the most unsettled spot on the whole team with all of these players having a chance to win the competition to be starter.
For those that scoff at the idea of Erik Swoope winning the battle this training camp, this is what Rotoworld had to say about the Raiders new signing.
“This is a really interesting addition to a tight-end group that is lacking any sort of big talent. In addition to Swoope, the Raiders employ blockers Derek Carrier and Luke Willson, fourth-round rookie Foster Moreau, and former-wide receiver Darren Waller, who has actually been getting some spring hype. When Waller is getting hype, you know the position has nothing. Swoope was a project for years in Indianapolis before finally showing flashes the last two years, catching 23 balls for 384 yards (16.7 YPR) and four touchdowns on very limited playing time. It would not be a surprise if Swoope took control of the position, and it would be equally unsurprising if Swoope didn’t make the 53-man roster. He’s at least a name to watch in camp.”
Let the competition begin!