Cardinals Should Kick Tires on ‘Surprise’ Ex-Seahawks TE Cut

Getty Images Jacob Hollister celebrates his touchdown against the Washington Football Team in 2020.

We’re less than 12 days away from the NFL regular season beginning for the Arizona Cardinals and there’s one position that lacks talent and depth. The tight end position.

Yes, Maxx Williams is surely the number one tight end for the team. Yes, there are other more important areas to worry about. Yes, Kyler Murray has weapons to work with.

But wouldn’t you want to upgrade the tight end position?

In a fairly unexpected move, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that 27-year-old tight end Jacob Hollister was cut by the Buffalo Bills.

Hollister has spent the last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks after being dealt in a trade with the Patriots in 2019.

He signed with the Bills this season and was competing with Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney for the position. TE Nate Becker was also cut with Hollister.

The Bills have a decent amount of players to put on IR so they could bring back Hollister to the team. Remember, Hollister is a vested veteran. That means he doesn’t have to clear waivers and can be brought back on the team and has the ability to choose his next destination. Buffalo currently is a great situation for winning.

 

There are teams who should be interested in Hollister’s services since he’s currently available.  But what if Hollister finds a scenario where he can have a chance to start?

The Arizona Cardinals could offer that.


Hollister’s History

Hollister caught 66 balls for six touchdowns over the past two seasons in Seattle. 41 of them were in 2019, which leads you to think he’s on the downturn of his career, right?

Wrong. The 2020 Seahawks had many receiving options in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and David Moore. Hollister still managed to barely lead the team in receptions for the tight end position and had to compete with two others in Will Dissly and now-retired Greg Olsen.

Hollister went on to sign with Buffalo as a free agent this offseason, landing a one-year, $1.1 million contract. He had three catches for 53 yards against the Green Bay Packers, but was somewhat quiet for the team’s two other preseason games.

It was only two years ago that Hollister caught 41 passes in only 11 games, with a very efficient 69.% catch rate. Hollister caught a game-winning touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9 of that season.


Arizona Needs Flexibility At TE

The loss of tight end Dan Arnold in the offseason was a huge blow to the team. While Maxx Williams is the unquestioned starter, he only caught eight balls in 2020 and only played nine games due to ankle issues.

Demetrius Harris was brought in to compete against Darrell Daniels and Ross Travis. At least one of them will be cut prior to the 53-man NFL roster deadline on August 31.

We mentioned tight ends to trade for in Zach Ertz, Ian Thomas and free agents like Trey Burton and Tyler Eifert could help Arizona.

With a receiving core that is much improved, coach Kliff Kingsbury could go all-in on 10 personnel. That system consists of four receivers, one running back and no tight ends. Remember, the Cardinals used four-receiver sets more than any other team in the league in 2020. That means having a TE who can block predominantly would be Arizona’s priority.

They also finished second in the usage of 2-TE sets in 2021. Why wouldn’t you want to exploit defenses in the middle of the field or in the endzone with size?

Hollister’s 6’4, 245 lb frame should be mouth-watering for Cardinals fans. He’s someone that can make the tight end room more interesting. And it would make Kyler Murray’s job easier.


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