Kroft, even though he's being handsomely compensated, also doesn't have the pedigree to simply run away with the competition -- he had a 42-404-7 season in 2017 surrounded by three other pro seasons with very limited production -- but this is obviously a severe hit to Croom's 2019 value. The Bills do like Croom's upside, as he's still learning the position after being a wideout at Tennessee in college, but at best he'll be allowed to compete for the starting job. And there's still a chance the Bills could draft a tight end early come April's draft.
Logan Thomas is a restricted free agent and could be brought back, while the team has a ton of cap room this offseason and a slew of draft picks to invest in tight end. While there will certainly be competition coming in, Croom -- who caught 22 balls on 35 targets for 259 yards and one touchdown in 2018 -- is clearly going to get a chance to piggyback off a somewhat successful first pro season. While Croom has yet to wow, the upside is there as a former wide receiver still learning the ins and outs of the position.
Croom finished the 2018 season with 22 catches on 35 targets for 259 yards and one touchdown in 15 games.
While that wasn't exactly setting the world on fire, Croom did top starter Charles Clay and fellow backup tight end Logan Thomas in catches, yards and touchdowns. Clay has a better chance of being let go vs. sticking with the team for one more high-priced season, so more opportunity could open up for Croom. However, the Bills have tons of cap room and extra draft picks, so the odds are good they'll be bolstering the tight end position this offseason, perhaps as a high priority after years of lackluster play. Most likely, Croom -- a former wide receiver in college at Tennessee who's still learning how to play tight end as a pro -- will get chance to compete for a No. 1 or No. 2 spot in 2019, but it'd be a surprise if he ended up as a clear-cut No. 1 starter.
Croom caught four of six targets for 55 yards and lost a fumble in Sunday's 24-12 loss to New England.
Croom was Buffalo's second-leading receiver behind Zay Jones, who benefited from a meaningless 31-yard touchdown with 1:08 remaining. Buffalo's new starting tight end is unlikely to gain much relevance at the position considering this is his first time exceeding 36 yards, but desperate deep-leaguers could do worse than Croom against the Dolphins in Week 17.
Croom is listed as the starting tight end Sunday against New England, as Charles Clay will be a healthy scratch for the matchup.
Croom will join Logan Thomas as the only active tight ends on the roster, which according to Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.com, had apparently been something in the works for some time. Neither is particularly encouraging from a fantasy perspective, however. Croom has the lone touchdown of the duo and more total receiving yards on the year, but the pair has surpassed 40 yards through the air in a single game just once this season (Thomas back in Week 9).
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