Originally written March 07, 2012 on The Stowaway:
Cicinnati_bengals_minicamp_c6c4
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to have the Tight End position wrapped up for the next few seasons.

With the signing of Chase Coffman late last month, Tampa Bay now has a squad of five tight ends already set for the 2012 training camp. Depending on how new Head Coach Greg Schiano wants the offense to run, up to four of these men could be on the roster when the regular season starts.  What Tampa Bay needs is someone to emerge behind Kellen Winslow as the next-in-line when Winslow (entering his 9th season) decides to hang it up.  Not to mention depth, plus the opportunities provided by two tight end sets.

Kellen Winslow (6'4", 240 lbs)
- drafted by Cleveland in Round 1 (#6 overall) in 2003 from Miami
- acquired via free agency from Cleveland

Chase Coffman (6'6", 250 lbs)
- drafted by Cincinnati in Round 3 (#98 overall) in 2007 from Missouri
- acquired via free agency from Cincinnati

Luke Stocker (6'5", 253 lbs)
- drafted by Tampa Bay in Round 4 (#104 overall) in 2011 from Tennessee

Collin Franklin (6'6", 256 lbs)
- undrafted from Iowa State in 2011
- acquired via waiver (Jets) on August 8th, 2011

Zack Pianalto (6'4", 250 lbs)
- undrafted from North Carolina) in 2011
- acquired via waiver (Buffalo) on September 5th, 2011

Coffman and Stocker, strictly by the fact they were drafted players, will be expected to lead the competition this offseason.  Stocker not only gets the benefit of being at One Buccaneer Place since getting drafted last year, he appeared in 14 games (starting 9) and gathering 12 receptions for 92 yards.  Coffman, once expected to be the long term answer for the Bengals, arrives with a grand total of 3 career catches for 30 yards since being drafted in 2007.

Franklin was released after training camp last season.  A week later, Pianalto was claimed from waivers and was on the active roster throughout 2011, appearing in 13 games and snaring 4 passes for 40 yards.

With this set of players, the Buccaneers can ignore this position during the 2012 NFL Draft and let the competition play out.  Having these men in the fold already provides additional flexibility to seek the best players available when the Buccaneers are on the clock.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Buccaneers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.