ATLANTA -- The Denver Broncos failed to add one former Indianapolis teammate of new quarterback Peyton Manning on Friday, but did attract a familiar target for the four-time Most Valuable Player.
The Atlanta-based representatives for unrestricted free agent tight end Jacob Tamme told The Sports Xchange that the four-year veteran, who visited with Denver officials earlier this week, has agreed to a three-year contract. The deal is believed to include a "base" value of $9 million.
The Sports Xchange reported earlier Friday that Tamme was seeking a deal worth $3-$3.5 million per year.
The agreement for Tamme came on the same day the Broncos agreed to terms with Houston Texans' unrestricted tight end Joel Dreessen. Financial details of Dreessen's contract were not immediately available. Despite the additions of two tight ends, Denver was unable to close a deal with veteran center Jeff Saturday. A close friend and confidant of Manning, Saturday opted to sign with Green Bay.
The accords with Dreessen and Tamme were somewhat surprising, given that many felt that Dallas Clark, the unrestricted tight end who had provided Manning with so many options in Indianapolis, would be the club's top choice. But sources said that the Broncos were concerned by Clark's recent history of injuries, which have limited him to only 17 appearances the past two years.
Other teams, however, seem to feel that Clark is sufficiently recovered from his injuries -- a severe wrist injury in 2010 and a broken leg in 2011 - and that he will play in the league in 2012. Clark is said to have some options, including with a few teams that already have a solid situation at the tight end spot.
Tamme, 27, has appeared in 60 games in four seasons, with 14 starts. He has 92 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns. His career season came in 2010, when he started 10 games because of Clark's wrist injury, and posted 67 catches, 631 yards and four scores.
Although not particularly well known to fans, Dreessen has developed into a solid receiving tight end. He averaged 30.0 catches the past three seasons and scored 10 touchdowns the last two years, including six in 2011.
Both Dreessen and Tamme project as good fits in the offense that Manning is expected to run with the Broncos. That offense may include a traditional, in-line tight end, but also certain to feature a tight end who can play wide or in the slot and create matchup problems for defenses.
Denver hasn't had a tight end with more than 49 receptions since 2003, Shannon Sharpe's last season with the Broncos, when he had 62 grabs. Over the past three seasons, Denver starting tight ends averaged only 22.7 receptions.