The veteran tight end notably came up with an impressive 18-yard reception on the game's first play before essentially becoming a non-factor the rest of the way. The 33-year-old put together a solid season in his first Denver campaign, especially considering that he played with a physically compromised Peyton Manning and inexperienced Brock Osweiler. Daniels came close to duplicating his 2014 numbers in Baltimore, tallying 46 catches for 517 yards and three touchdowns. Under the Broncos' control for two more seasons, Daniels will likely be brought back in 2016 as an effective veteran insurance policy at tight end.
Cam Newton's favorite target turned in a rather ordinary Super Bowl performance, as both time and pass-catching opportunities were at a premium against Denver's stalwart defense. His game-long 19-yard reception did help set up Carolina's first touchdown, with Olsen creating all the yardage on his run after making the grab at the line of scrimmage. Despite the failed championship bid, Olsen commemorated a second successful campaign in as many seasons in a Panthers uniform, breaking the 1,000-yard mark through the air for the second consecutive year while also hauling in 77 receptions and recording seven touchdowns.
Gronkowski struggled to stay healthy for a fourth consecutive year, as he missed one game in 2015 due to a minor knee strain. Additionally, a back issue afflicted him in both playoff tilts, but the touchdown machine still struck three total times against the Chiefs and Broncos. After a third 1,000-yard and fifth double-digit touchdown campaign in six professional seasons, he'll enter draft season as the clear-cut No. 1 tight end.
Emerging from Sunday's Pro Bowl with a walking boot on his left foot, Eifert cleared an initial X-ray, and additional tests upon returning to Cincinnati revealed the nature of the injury. With a spell of rest, expect the tight end to participate in the entire offseason program.
Fells' signing will keep him with the Cardinals, for whom he led tight ends with 21 catches for 311 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season. The former basketball player also caught a touchdown in Arizona's NFC Championship Game loss. Despite his development this past season, Fells' fantasy upside is somewhat limited by the Cardinals' crowded cast of pass-catchers, yet it'll be interesting to see if he takes another step in his unconventional career next term.
After recording his first Pro Bowl catch in the fourth quarter, Eifert was targeted on the very next play by Jameis Winston but was unable to corral a potential 35-yard touchdown. Eifert exhibited an evident limp as he went to the sideline, where his foot was iced until he was transported to the locker room in the waning minutes in order to undergo an X-ray. The initial exam was returned negative, but he'll have additional tests performed once he returns to Cincinnati to determine the extent of the injury.
Serving in a strict reserve role this season, Niklas nonetheless fared much better on the injury front, appearing in every game versus the seven that he was contained to as a rookie in 2014. However, both Darren Fells (restricted) and Jermaine Gresham (unrestricted) are free agents, which may result in a jump up the depth chart. Niklas' pedigree as a second-round pick would warrant such a promotion, but he still must put in the work to deserve an expanded target count.
The Chiefs made Kelce the second-highest paid tight end in the league on Friday, with $20.5 million of the extension guaranteed. The deal looks him up through 2021. Kelce was the Chiefs' second-leading receiver in 2015 with 72 receptions for 875 yards and five touchdowns.
On the surface, the signing of Gresham at the outset of training camp appeared to be a perfect match due to the Cardinals' need at tight end and his previous relationship with Carson Palmer in Cincinnati. Gresham's initial practice was delayed, though, due to offseason surgery to repair a herniated disc, and multiple injuries served to quell his snap count, resulting in just 54 percent of the offensive snaps. The preceding allowed Darren Fells to lead the way at the position in every category but targets, which may be enough to allow Gresham to walk as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
A fifth-round rookie, Boyle looked pretty good in his limited playing time, but with tight end standing out as a strength on the Baltimore roster, there's little reason to believe that he'll be anything more than a blocking specialist in 2016. Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams will compete for most of the targets.