The mid-2000’s were a dark time for Buffalo Bills tight ends. The team has never had a strong history of tight ends outside of Pete Metzelaars (unless you want to go back to Ernie Warlink in the AFL era), and for a while the team all but gave up on having a productive receiver at the position. These three players stood out above the rest during Buffalo’s playoff drought. Who was the greatest of the group?
Riemersma played six of his seven NFL seasons in Buffalo, and three of those years came during the beginning of Buffalo’s playoff drought. During that span, he caught 116 passes for 1312 yards and eight touchdowns. Injuries were a constant battle for Riemersma during his Bills career; though he played in 44 of a possible 48 games from 2000 to 2002, he underwent eight surgeries in his career. The Bills asked him to take a paycut in 2003, and they released him when he refused.
A former fourth round pick of the San Diego Chargers, Chandler bounced around the waiver wire for a few seasons before a Bills team desperate for receiving talent signed him late in 2010. He made his first career start in September 2011, scoring two touchdowns on five catches for 63 yards. Chandler finished that season with 38 receptions for 389 yards and six touchdowns; his touchdown count tied the franchise record for tight ends (Pete Metzelaars and Riemersma also own a share of that record). He added another six-touchdown season in 2012, and set career-highs of 53 catches and 655 yards in 2013. The 6’7” 270 pound red zone threat ranks third among Bills tight ends in career receptions, touchdowns, and yards. In his five years with Buffalo, he finished with 182 receptions for 2120 yards and 17 touchdowns.
With the Bills looking to build up a talented offense to support new head coach Rex Ryan, they made a splashy move in 2015 by signing Clay in a restricted free agent bidding war with the Miami Dolphins. Clay hasn’t quite lived up to the five-year, $37 million contract Buffalo tendered him, but they wanted a receiving threat who could block, and Clay fit the bill. From 2015-2017, Clay caught 157 passes for 1638 yards and nine touchdowns. His 57-catch season in 2016 was the second-most receptions by a tight end in franchise history.
Time to vote: Which tight end was the most effective player during Buffalo’s drought? Any write-ins for Lee Smith or Robert Royal?
Next time, we’ll return to wide receivers to select a second starter for our team.
Who was the best tight end of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
This poll is closed