The Los Angeles Chargers add a blocking tight end to their offensive arsenal by signing former Denver Bronco Virgil Green.
With veteran tight end Antonio Gates currently a free agent, the Los Angeles Chargers may be poised to move forward with Hunter Henry as the pass-catching replacement at the starting position. However, there is more to tight ends than just catching passes; blocking is also a key job description. With that in mind, the Chargers have picked up former Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green, reports the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Chargers have also confirmed the signing:
Green, a seventh-round pick by the Broncos in 2011, can catch passes when required. He has 71 career receptions for 807 yards and four scores. But he earned his 100 games’ worth of action (and 49 starts) because of his blocking. That will again be his primary role.
The financial information has yet to be released, but NFL insider Adam Caplan reports Green has signed a three-year deal with the Chargers.
Green is essentially a utilitarian signing for the Chargers, who need to have a plus-blocker in their tight ends room. As ESPN’s Eric Williams notes above, Green’s non-receiving role should not influence the Chargers’ decision to—or not to—bring back Antonio Gates nor does it diminish the overall importance of Henry moving forward. The Chargers have been relatively conservative so far in free agency. Virgil’s signing continues the trend, but it also meets a need.