Robert Tonyan

This Date In Transactions History: Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan

Three years ago today, the Packers re-upped a relatively unknown tight end on their 90-man roster. The move went unnoticed by many, but it proved to be one of the savviest pickups of the offseason. On April 10, 2019, the Packers re-signed tight end Robert Tonyan

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The Indiana State product went undrafted in 2017, but he managed to secure a lucrative three-year, $1.66MM deal with the Lions. He didn’t end up making the regular season roster, and he spent the majority of his rookie year as a free agent before catching on with the Packers practice squad. Following that 2017 campaign, Green Bay retained the young tight end via a futures contract.

Tonyan ended up sticking the team in 2018, appearing in all 16 games. However, other than a memorable 54-yard touchdown catch, the tight end didn’t do much on the offensive end, and he ended the season having appeared more on special teams (191 snaps) than on offense (67). Still, the Packers apparently believed in his potential, as they extended him a tender as an exclusive rights free agent. That decision (and the subsequent negotiations) culminated in the minor move that was made three years ago today.

Tonyan’s 2019 campaign was similar to his 2018 season; he saw a bit more offensive responsibility, but he still didn’t put up notable numbers. Following that season, the Packers made him an exclusive rights free agent once again, and the player ultimately signed the tender.

The tight end rewarded the Packers’ confidence with a breakout season in 2020. The then-26-year-old emerged as one of Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite targets, finishing the season with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. He continued producing in the playoffs, hauling in eight catches for 82 yards and one score in two games.

Tonyan was slapped with a second-round tender last year, locking him into a $3.3MM salary for 2021. In 2021, Tonyan got off to a similar start, minus the massive red-zone impact. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a torn ACL in a Week 8 game against the Cardinals, but the Packers believe that he’ll make a full recovery. Despite the uncertainty, Tonyan is back on a new one-year, $3.75MM deal for 2022.

Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan

The Packers are keeping their tight end room secure for Aaron Rodgers. With Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara set to return, Green Bay secured the return of their top three tight ends today by re-signing Robert Tonyan for another year, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. 

Tonyan became the tenth football player out of Indiana State University to reach the NFL when he signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He was released before the season began, but was soon picked up by the Packers as a member of the practice squad. Tonyan was mostly a reserve tight end, appearing in most games, but not providing much of an impact in the passing game.

Tonyan had a break out year, though, in the 2020 NFL season when he reeled in 52 passes for 586 yards and an impressive 11 touchdowns. In 2021, Tonyan was showing a bit of the same success minus the massive red-zone impact. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a torn ACL in a Week 8 game against the Cardinals.

Despite only appearing in eight games, Tonyan only trailed the Packers’ leading receiving tight end, Deguara, by 41 yards and trailed Lewis by only 10 yards. So the Packers are bringing back their top receiving tight end on a one-year deal, likely to make sure he can provide the same impact upon his recovery.

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.

Packers’ Robert Tonyan Tears ACL

Robert Tonyan‘s season is over. The Packers tight end has been officially diagnosed with an ACL tear, according to his agent (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

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Tonyan was forced out in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cardinals and did not return. His limp indicated that he was dealing with a serious injury and doctors confirmed his worst fears on Friday afternoon.

I’m sick for Bobby,” head coach Matt LaFleur said after the game (via NFL.com). “He means so much to this team. It’s so cool, and I just told him to watch a guy when you first hit your… see the amount of progress that he’s made as a player and just the work that he puts in on a daily basis. It’s really cool when you see that progress, when you see a guy reach their potential and I still think there’s more out there for him…I am sick for him, I’m sick for us. My heart goes out to him.”

Tonyan reeled in three catches before his early exit, giving him 18 grabs for 204 yards and two touchdowns on the year. The Packers went on to defeat the league’s last undefeated team, but they’ll have to go the rest of the way without Tonyan and running back Kylin Hill.

Packers Gain $2MM In Cap Room

The Packers have some extra dollars to work with, thanks to some help from tight end Robert Tonyan (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). . In a rare move, Tonyan has been re-signed to a new deal that treats the bulk of his of $3.384MM restricted free agent tender as a bonus for salary cap purposes. Meanwhile, they’ve added four voidable years to the contract. All together, this gives Green Bay roughly $1.9MM more for this year’s cap. 

Tonyan, 27, effectively redshirted his rookie season. As an undrafted free agent, he hauled in just 14 catches through his first two seasons of action. Then, he had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. Just last week, the Packers happily gave Tonyan a second-round tender to keep him from getting poached.

It’s worth noting that the tight end appeared in just 61-percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps last year. He could see an even larger role in 2021 as he teams with Marcedes Lewis. Of course, it’s not a given that Aaron Rodgers will be the one throwing the ball to him. But, between this revision and other recent moves, the Packers have carved out roughly $4.4MM in cap space — those dollars could be put towards a new deal for Rodgers, assuming the two sides can mend fences.

Packers TE Robert Tonyan Signs RFA Tender

Robert Tonyan is officially back with the Packers. The tight end signed his restricted free agent tender today, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (via Twitter). The 27-year-old will earn $3.38MM this upcoming season.

[RELATED: This Date In Transactions History: Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan]

After effectively redshirting his rookie season, the former undrafted free agent hauled in only 14 receptions through his first two seasons of action. However, Tonyan had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. After the season, the Packers slapped Tonyan with the second-round tender.

After appearing in only 61-percent of his team’s offensive snaps in 2020, Tonyan could see an even larger role in 2021 (regardless of who’s under center). The tight end is projected to lead a depth chart that also features veteran Marcedes Lewis.

While Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay receivers have no-showed OTAs, Tonyan was one of the higher-profile offensive players to participate this past week, per Demovsky.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/21

Tomorrow is the deadline for NFL teams to extend tender offers to their own restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Tendered: 

Non-Tendered:

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/24/20

As Day 2 draft news comes rushing in, we’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived: P Sam Irwin-Hill

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/10/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

  • Waived: G Parker Ehinger, DT Aziz Shittu

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/11/19

Here are Monday’s moves involving restricted and exclusive-rights free agents:

ERFAs

Tendered:

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-tendered: