Luke Stocker

Titans Sign TE Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker is heading back to Tennessee. The Titans have signed the veteran tight end, reports Jim Wyatt of the team’s website (via Twitter). The team also waived defensive back Quenton Meeks and placed offensive lineman Brandon Kemp on injured reserve.

This is a bit of a homecoming for Stocker; the tight end went to college at Tennessee and played for the Titans for two seasons. The veteran has managed to put together a 10-year NFL career, including the past two with the Falcons. Known more for his blocking prowess (Stocker also has experience playing fullback), the veteran has hauled in 83 receptions for 693 yards and five touchdowns during his career.

After losing Jonnu Smith in free agency, the Titans have been looking for some extra depth behind presumed starter Anthony Firkser. Stocker will compete with the likes of Geoff Swaim, Jared Pinkney, Tommy Hudson, and Miller Forristall for a roster spot.

Meeks, a 2018 undrafted free agent out of Stanford, has collected eight tackles in 14 career games. After getting waived by the Jaguars earlier this offseason, he signed with the Titans. Kemp joined the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State in 2020. The offensive lineman reportedly suffered a shoulder injury during practice this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign Luke Stocker

Free agent tight end Luke Stocker is expected to rejoin the Falcons, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Stocker took a visit with the club earlier this week.

The 32-year-old spent the first 6+ years of his career with the Bucs, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. During that time, he played under Dirk Koetter, the former Tampa head coach who became the Falcons’ offensive coordinator in 2019, which may be what brought Stocker to Atlanta on a two-year deal last offseason.

But the Falcons released Stocker in March, right before the team completed a trade with the Ravens for fellow TE Hayden Hurst. Hurst sits atop the team’s depth chart now that Austin Hooper has moved on to the Browns, but aside from the Hurst deal, Atlanta did not do much to add to the tight end position, so it circled back to a familiar face.

Stocker has always been more of a blocker than a receiver, and he has also spent time at fullback. He caught just eight passes for 53 yards last year, and with Hurst slated to get the targets that went Hooper’s way, it’s unlikely that he will see much of an uptick in the receiving game. But he provides experience and depth that the Falcons are lacking at tight end, so it’s a good fit for both sides.

Falcons Release TE Luke Stocker

The Falcons’ tight ends room is getting a major overhaul Monday. First Atlanta let Austin Hooper walk in free agency as he signed with the Browns, and now they’re letting go of another one.

The team is releasing veteran tight end Luke Stocker according to Vaughn McClure of (Twitter link). Stocker signed with the team around this time last year, and ended up only lasting one season in Atlanta. Originally a fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2011, he spent the first seven years of his career in Tampa. During that time he played under Dirk Koetter, the former Bucs head coach who is now the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, which is probably what brought him to Atlanta.

Stocker has always been more of a blocker than a receiver, and he has also spent time at fullback. The 31-year-old Tennessee product had only eight catches for 53 yards last year. He played a bigger role in the passing game the year before with the Titans, racking up 165 yards and two touchdowns. Overall he played about 37 percent of the offensive snaps for the Falcons last year in addition to contributing on special teams.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Falcons Sign TE Luke Stocker

The Falcons have signed tight end Luke Stocker, according to Vaughn McClure of (on Twitter). Stocker previously played under Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter with the Buccaneers, so it shouldn’t take long for him to learn the playbook. 

Stocker entered the league as a fourth-round pick of the Bucs in the 2011 draft. Just after Thanksgiving in 2017, the Bucs waived him, but he was quickly scooped up by the Titans. The Titans exercised the 2018 option on his deal and mostly utilized him as a blocker.

Stocker has never caught more than 16 passes in a season, but his blocking acumen has kept him employed over the years. Last year, he graded out as the fifth-best tight end in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and ranked among the best pass blockers in the league.

With the Falcons, Stocker may appear in two tight end sets along with Austin Hooper.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Tomlin, Bengals, Dolphins

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the Antonio Brown saga, and he is pretty straightforward with his thoughts on the entire situation. He certainly puts much of the blame for the acrimonious relationship between Brown and the Steelers on Brown himself, saying that the talented wideout has a tremendous combination of selfishness, all-about-me attitude, and hostility towards the only team he has ever known. As one GM recently said, Brown is a a “[g]reat talent, but a huge pain in the ass.”

However, Lombardi also says that while Brown’s behavior has driven down his price on the trade market, interested teams are doing their homework to get to the true essence of the problem. Lombardi believes the Steelers’ culture is lost, and that head coach Mike Tomlin, despite his impressive 57-29-1 record over the last five seasons, loses critical games because he and his teams fail to handle small details and do not exhibit the physical and mental toughness they need in key situations. The Rooney family does not overreact, but Lombardi suggests the imminent departures of Brown and Le’Veon Bell will lead to a thorough evaluation of Tomlin, who will need to fix his team’s culture in order to secure his future in Pittsburgh.

Now for more out of the AFC:

  • Linebacker Jon Bostic would like to return to the Steelers, but Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the club has no interest in re-signing Bostic. The Steelers could look to the draft to fortify their inside linebacker position, but this year’s collegiate crop of ILBs is a bit thin. Pittsburgh also needs to address its cornerback depth chart, but Dulac suggests the free agent market could be a better option in that regard given the club’s poor history of drafting CBs under Tomlin. Of course, the Steelers will use much of their time at this week’s Scouting Combine to explore the trade market for Brown.
  • The Bengals have historically been pretty conservative on the free agent market under owner Mike Brown, and Katherine Terrell of does not believe that will change going forward, even though Cincinnati has a new head coach for the first time in 16 years (Twitter link). That is in keeping with a piece that the Cincinnati Enquirer published several days ago.
  • The Dolphins have plenty of holes to fill during this year’s draft, and as Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald writes, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell could be a perfect fit for the team’s pass rush if the Fins do not use their first-round pick on a QB. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, citing the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, says Miami should be able to build its O-line throughout the draft, and that the team was not particularly impressed by West Virginia signal-caller Will Grier. Jackson also explores the Dolphins’ other options for their No. 13 overall pick, including trade-back scenarios.
  • Jim Wyatt of expects the Titans to sign a wideout and an interior lineman in free agency and to address those positions in the draft as well. The team may be getting Delanie Walker back in time for OTAs, but Wyatt also believes the Titans will add at least one TE to the mix, and he expects Tennessee will try to re-sign Luke Stocker.

Titans Exercise Luke Stocker’s Option

The Titans have exercised the 2018 option on tight end Luke Stocker, according to Field Yates of (Twitter link). Per the terms of the option, he’ll receive a $125K bonus and can make up to $1.375MM more this season. 

The Bucs waived Stocker just after Thanksgiving and the Titans signed him once he cleared waivers. It was a two-year deal for Stocker, but it included an escape hatch for Tennessee. They have elected to keep him to see what he can do in camp this summer.

Stocker, 30 in July, appeared in three games for Tampa Bay and one game for Tennessee in 2017, totaling just four catches for 30 yards and one score. He has never caught more than 16 passes in a season, but he does offer above-average blocking skills.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Place DaQuan Jones On IR

DaQuan Jones‘ season is over. On Monday, the Titans announced that the defensive lineman is being placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury. Taking his place on the roster will be tight end Luke Stocker, who has signed a two-year deal with the team. DaQuan Jones (vertical)

The timing of the injury is unfortunate for Jones as he looks ahead to free agency in March. The 25-year-old (26 later this month) looked strong in recent weeks as he recorded 3.5 sacks in the last two games. He currently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 ranked interior defender out of 117 qualified players, so he should still draw some interest on the open market.

Stocker Stocker, 29, recently became available when the Buccaneers cut him loose. The former fourth-round pick appeared in three games for Tampa Bay this year, amassing just three catches for 18 yards and one score. He has never caught more than 16 passes in a season, but he does offer above-average blocking skills.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/28/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: WR Isaac Whitney

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers To Re-Sign Larry English, Major Wright

The Buccaneers have agreed to contracts that will keep pass rusher Larry English and safety Major Wright with the team, reports Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (via Twitter) and Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter).

English was a first-round pick of the Chargers in the 2009 NFL Draft, after taking down the quarterback more than 30 times during his final three collegiate years. His success stopped there, as he struggled with both performance and injury with the team. He was cut before the 2014 season, and signed with the Buccaneers.

Wright was a third-round pick of the Bears in the 2010 NFL Draft, after winning a national championship with the University of Florida. He was inconsistent in Chicago, and signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason.

Both English and Wright were cut by the team after signing, but rejoined the Buccaneers in 2014. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has now re-signed four players, with English and Wright joining linebacker Jason Williams and tight end Luke Stocker, according to Cummings (via Twitter).