Back in May, the Buffalo Bills hosted free agent tight end Gary Barnidge on a visit. Rather than sign, Barnidge chose to wait, delaying a decision about his playing future. Next week, he may make a final decision.
According to Mike Kaye, who covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for First Coast News, Barnidge is scheduled to visit the Jaguars on Tuesday, July 25. With training camp set to open for the Jaguars on July 27, it seems that Barnidge’s visit is perfectly timed.
Barnidge has caught 178 passes in his career, totaling 2,258 yards and 14 touchdowns. The majority of that production came in the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, where Barnidge averaged 67 catches, 828 yards, and 6 touchdowns per year. In 2015 alone, he caught 79 passes for 1,043 yards and 9 touchdowns.
If Barnidge does sign with the Jaguars, it would be hard to blame him. The veteran tight end played his high school football at Middleburg High School, which is only a 45-minute drive from Jacksonville, so he’d be returning to a familiar area.
The Bills were hoping to add Barnidge to complement Charles Clay in order to improve depth at the tight end position. With an emphasis on two-tight end sets in offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s offense, the Clay-Barnidge combination could have been explosive.
If Barnidge chooses Jacksonville over Buffalo, the Bills will have Clay, Nick O’Leary, Logan Thomas, Jason Croom, Keith Towbridge, and Wes Saxton competing for 3 or 4 spots on the 53-man roster. It’s not exactly an inspiring list.