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Arizona Cardinals offseason: Tight ends 'still got a ways to go' in development

There are three guys that consistently get mentioned.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The tight end room for the Arizona Cardinals is a young one. They lost veteran John Carlson to retirement and after him, they have players with very little experience -- 17 total regular season games between them all.

It is a group with low expectations outside of the organization and it is a group that could be upgraded. There is second year player Troy Niklas, a former basketball player in Darren Fells, a former receiver in Ifeanyi Momah and then there are Ted Bolser, seventh round pick Gerald Christian and undrafted rookie Garrett Sinclair.

Head coach Bruce Arians says the players "still got a ways to go."

He indicated Fells "is in a real good spot right now," and that would make sense, as he progressively got more and more playing tie last year and played quite well.

Niklas got hurt again and Arians said "he can't stay healthy," but noted it still if only the third year Niklas is at the position.

As for Momah, Arians "can't wait" to see him in training camp in pads. "He's always been great in shorts," he said.

Nothing has been said about Bolser or Sinclair lately, so it sounds like three guys are the ones to watch.

Niklas said the tight room is "good."

"It definitely hurts losing a veteran like John, but I think we've done a pretty good job talking to each other and making sure everyone knows what we need to do on the play," Niklas continued. "Everyone's good at communicating and we work pretty well together."

One thing that has not emerged yet is leadership. "Everyone's still worried about their own thing, making their plays and not making mistakes," Niklas said when asked if anyone had stepped up as a leader in the room. "Probably at the end of camp we'll have more of an idea of that."

Quarterback Carson Palmer likes what he has seen. He said "they all catch the ball really well" and the blocking stuff we will see in camp.

More importantly is their demeanor.

"They're hungry," Palmer said. "Each one of those guys wants that spot and that's the position you want to be in as a quarterback is three guys who are just sponges. They just want to know and learn and be told things and told things they're doing wrong and they don't shy away from that."