Packers 2017 Recap: TE Lance Kendricks

Lance Kendricks represented half of the Packers’ free agent makeover at tight end, making a return to his the state where he both grew up and attended college. Along with Martellus Bennett, Kendricks figured to play a big part in the Packers’ revamped tight end group.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in 16 games with nine starts ( 468 snaps on offense, 65 on special teams)
  • 18 receptions for 203 yards one touchdown

Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Not met

Analysis: Kendricks underwhelms in return to Wisconsin

On paper, the Packers had their best tight end group in years to start the 2017 season. Not only had Martellus Bennett joined the Packers in free agency, but Lance Kendricks came along with him, giving the Packers a potentially terrific one-two punch at tight end.

We were quite excited about the possibilities, but so was Kendricks who spoke effusively of the Packers’ potential to attack defenses:

“I played in so many different formations," Kendricks said. "I kind of line up all over the place. I think they’ll find something I’m really good at or a few things I’m really good at and they’ll be able to utilize that and implement that into the system. I think (Bennett and I) both have our own assets. He’s a very good down-the-field catcher. He’s a big target and I can work the seams, as well."

So what happened? Well, not much of anything.

After Bennett took his variety of issues back to New England, Kendricks took over the majority of the reps at tight end but failed to produce. His 18 receptions and 203 yards both represented career lows. His yardage total looks especially bad when you consider that 51 yards came on one reception against the Cincinnati Bengals.

He didn’t do much to make up for it in the end zone, either, scoring just once on the season. That’s worse than any other single season since his rookie years.

Kendricks is under contract through the 2018 season, but his underwhelming 2017 season doesn’t give the Packers a lot of reason to bring him back. His cap hit is just $2.25 million for next season, though, so the Packers wouldn’t be breaking the bank if they wanted to bring him back and see if he can be more productive with a full season with Aaron Rodgers, assuming the two-time MVP stays healthy.