Vannett agreed Wednesday with the Saints on a three-year contract, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
The Saints let Jared Cook and Josh Hill go this offseason, so Vannett is part of their plans to replace them. Vannett suited up in 15 games with the Broncos last season, recording 14 receptions for 95 yards a touchdown while playing second fiddle to top tight end Noah Fant. The 28-year-old will need to compete with 2020 third-round pick Adam Trautman for the top spot on the depth chart in New Orleans, though both players should have roles on offense. The Saints could also add more competition at the position through the draft.
Vannett has been released by the Broncos, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.
Vannett was to slated to earn $2.678 million this coming season, so the move frees up some extra cap room for the Broncos. The 28-year-old hauled in 14 of his 21 targets for 95 yards and a TD in 15 games last year, while earning most of his keep with his blocking. He'll look to catch on elsewhere as a depth tight end.
Vannett brought in 14 passes of 21 targets for 95 yards and a score in 15 games during the 2020 campaign.
Vannett stepped up a bit following the season-ending knee injury to fellow tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. The 27-year-old had three of his four multi-catch games during the final six contests of the season, including a four reception outing in Week 13 against Carolina. He did well in providing QB Drew Lock with a safety blanket underneath. The question heading into 2021 is whether that's worth $3.6 million against the cap when cutting him would cost just $875,000. Vannett is a strong blocker and a solid veteran presence, but he might be squeezed out with returning youngsters Noah Fant, Andrew Beck and Okwuegbunam.
Vannett didn't catch his lone target in Sunday's 48-19 loss to the Bills.
Vannett logged 16 snaps on offense, finishing behind Noah Fant (44) and Troy Fumagalli (19). Fant was the only position mate to catch a pass, however, as he finished with an 8-68-1 line on 11 targets. Vannett and Fumagalli will continue to compete for the No. 2 role in Denver's offense, and it could simply shape up as a timeshare moving forward.
Vannett reeled in all four of his targets for 20 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 32-27 win against Carolina.
Vannett and Troy Fumagalli saw increased passing-game opportunities during Week 14 with starting tight end Noah Fant being forced to an early exit after falling ill. Vannett's two-yard receiving TD in the second quarter marked the 27-year-old's first since he scored three times for Seattle in 2018. With Albert Okwuegbunam (knee-ACL) remaining on injured reserve, Vannett could maintain a minor role as a pass catcher Week 15 against the Bills. Absences from Fant and Jake Butt (hamstring) -- who was designated to return from IR on Dec. 10 -- would clear Vannett's path towards a more integral role, however.
Vannett caught both targets for seven yards during Sunday's 22-16 loss to the Chiefs.
The 27-year-old has played about 50 percent of the offensive snaps over the past three games and has four catches for 31 yards during that stretch. Vannett should continue to operate as Denver's secondary tight end while starter Noah Fant remains healthy.
Vannett caught both targets for 24 yards in Sunday's 20-13 win over the Dolphins.
With Drew Lock playing through a rib injury, coach Vic Fangio opted to utilize Vannett and Troy Fumagalli more in the offensive game plan to help protect the second-year quarterback. As a result, Vannett logged a season-high 41 snaps on offense. He's still not much of a pass-catching threat, but this trend could continue in Week 12 against the Saints.
Vannett wasn't targeted in Sunday's 37-12 loss to the Raiders.
Vannett moved up to second on Denver's tight end depth chart due to a rash of injuries at the position, but he didn't take advantage of the expanded role. He has caught just six passes all season and has never broken 30 catches or 300 yards in a campaign.
Vannett is one of the few healthy bodies in Denver's tight-end room with Albert Okwuegbunam (ACL), Andrew Beck (hamstring) and Jake Butt (hamstring) all heading to injured reserve during the past week, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports.
That rash of injuries doesn't even include Noah Fant's continued ankle troubles. The Broncos were doing well by mixing in Okwuegbunam in recent weeks, but don't expect Vannett to fill that role. He and Okwuegbunam are of very different skill sets, and Vannett has never been much of a consistent threat in the passing game. Vannett heads into Sunday's game against Las Vegas with just six catches on the season and just one outing with multiple catches this year. The Broncos figure to run even more three-receiver sets -- their most common personnel grouping -- than they already have.
Vannett (foot) is active for Sunday's game against the Falcons.
Vannett carried a questionable designation into the weekend, but he never seemed at much risk of missing the contest after he was able to put in a full practice Friday. Expect Vannett to fill a minor role behind starter Noah Fant as the Broncos' top blocking tight end.
Vic Fangio said Friday that Vannett (foot) will be listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Falcons but is expected to be available, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Vannett suffered a foot bruise against the Chargers in Week 8, but it looks like he should be able to avoid missing any time. As long as he's able to suit up, Vannett will handle his usual depth role at tight end.
Vannett was diagnosed with a foot bruise after an MRI on Monday and should be able to play Week 9, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.
The 27-year-old received the start Sunday with the Broncos starting out in a two-tight end set, but he ended up playing only 11 offensive snaps. Vannett has only five catches for 33 yards in six games this season, so even if available this weekend, he's unlikely to be a significant factor in the passing game.
Vannett sustained a foot injury during Sunday's 31-30 win over the Chargers, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports.
Vannett didn't record a catch during Sunday's contest. The severity of the depth tight end's injury remains undisclosed, but if he were to miss time, it could mean more opportunities for impressive rookie Albert Okwuegbunam.
Vannett cleared the NFL's concussion protocol and returned to practice Sunday, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports.
Vannett suffered this concussion Wednesday but made a quick recovery. Heading into his fifth NFL season, Vannett is learning a new system but could secure the No. 2 role behind Noah Fant with a strong training camp.
Vannett is in the concussion protocol Wednesday, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.
Vannett will need to fully clear the league's concussion protocol before retaking the practice field. The Broncos are relying on him to provide a veteran presence in an otherwise extremely youthful tight end room.
The Broncos have parted ways Jeff Heuerman, Brandon Krisztal of KOA News Radio reports. The move leaves Vannett as the veteran in the Broncos' tight-end room.
Heuerman's exit seemed inevitable back in March as Vannett's signing tied up a fair amount of money in two reserve tight ends. Cutting Heuerman had less cap repercussions. Vannett is a good bet to make the roster as a TE2 or TE3, but he is unlikely to be a big factor fantasy-wise. Both 2019 first-round pick Noah Fant and 2020 fourth-rounder Albert Okwuegbunam figure to be more involved in the passing game than the veteran, who is the superior blocker.
Vannett signed a two-year contract, $5.7 million contract with the Broncos on Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
It's an odd decision by the Broncos considering they've invested a first-round (Noah Fant), third-round (Jeff Heuerman) and two fifth-round picks (Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli) in the tight end position over the last five years, but Vannett profiles as a more reliable blocking option behind the obvious starter, Fant. Vannett caught just 17 passes combined last season between stints with the Seahawks and Steelers, but the fourth-year player has missed just two games over the past three years despite playing at least 500 combined offensive and special teams snaps each season.
Vannett wasn't targeted on any of his 15 offensive snaps in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens.
With starting tight end Vance McDonald playing 44 of the Steelers' 50 offensive snaps in Week 17, there was little opportunity for Vannett to take the field. While splitting his season between Seattle and Pittsburgh, Vannett produced 17 receptions (on 22 targets) for 166 yards in 13 games. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, Vannett could explore opportunities elsewhere if he's not willing to return to Pittsburgh as a No. 2 or 3 tight end.
Vannett caught his lone target for 18 yards in Pittsburgh's 16-10 loss to the Jets on Sunday.
The return of Vance McDonald resulted in Vannett regressing to his typical one target game -- he now has one target in seven of 10 games played with the Steelers. Pittsburgh finishes the regular season with a Week 17 contest against a Baltimore defense that ranks first in fantasy in limiting points to tight ends.
Vannett (illness) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Jets.
Vannett was unable to practice Thursday due to the illness, but it won't impact his status for this weekend. The 26-year-old is coming off his best game of the season after catching five of six targets for 40 yards during last week's loss to the Bills.
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