The Philadelphia Eagles added some more depth to the tight end position this week by signing veteran free agent Richard Rodgers to a one-year contract.
In order to better get to know the Eagles’ new pass catcher, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get some inside perspective on Rodgers. In order to do that, I reached out to my good friend Jason B. Hirschhorn of Acme Packing Company. Here’s what he had to say about the former Green Bay Packers tight end.
1. Can you sum up Richard Rodgers’ career with the Packers?
Probably unfairly, Richard Rodgers has come to be viewed as a disappointment. The Packers selected him in the third round directly following the injury-induced retirement of Jermichael Finley, setting expectations unreasonably high for Rodgers. Some positive reviews in training camp only further complicated the matter.
Rodgers’ skill set and athletic profile made following in Finley’s footsteps difficult. Outside of 2015, Rodgers never topped 300 yards or two touchdowns in a single year. By his third season, the Packers had begun actively searching for a replacement. From that point on, Rodgers’ playing time significantly diminished, bottoming out in his 12-catch, 160-yard campaign in 2017.While the Packers didn’t publicly comment on the prospect of bringing back Rodgers, they essentially closed the door on his Green Bay tenure after signing Jimmy Graham.
2. What’s the reaction in Green Bay to Rodgers leaving?
Some see him as an underachieving player in need of new surroundings, others see him as a useful reserve who the Packers could have retained for little money. In either case, he was never going to move the needle much in Green Bay.
3. What are Rodgers’ strengths?
Rodgers probably had the best and most-reliable hands in the Packers receiving corps. He hauled in 66.3 percent of his targets including some difficult passes, most famously his 61-yard game winner against the Lions in 2015. Rodgers’ consistency in that regard makes him useful near the goal line.
4. What are Rodgers’ weaknesses?
Despite making over his body since entering the NFL, Rodgers lacks the athleticism to attack the seams and struggles mightily as a blocker. For an inline tight end, that particular combination severely limits his opportunities to see the field. When Rodgers does catch the ball in space, defenders don’t usually have much trouble taking him down without assistance.
5. Anything to know about Rodgers off the field?
For more on Rodgers, check out this good article over at APC: “Richard Rodgers still has value as a depth & special teams player.”