The New England Patriots are off to fortifying their roster, and this time they signed a German tight end.
Jacob Johnson is the latest addition to the Patriots roster, and the tight end came to New England through the NFL’s International Pathway Program. He is given a chance to make the opening 53-man roster, but if he doesn’t do that, the tight end will definitely fit in the practice unit. In this event, the Patriots would be given a chance to add an eleventh player on the practice squad with Johnson. However, he wouldn’t be able to become part of the active roster at any point in the regular season.
Johnson was playing with the Stuttgart Scorpions in Germany. He totaled
43 catches for 474 yards and four touchdowns. The tight end also had 12 tackles
for the team.
The 6-foot-5, 285 pounder played his college
football at the University of Tennessee from 2014 to 2017. He showed his
incredible versatility as a Volunteer. During this time, Johnson played his
natural position at tight end, but was a fullback and had some success on
defense and special teams. This versatility is probably one of the reasons New
England had to sign Johnson.
During his season at Tennessee, Johnson totaled just three receptions
for 23 yards and notched 22 tackles and a forced fumble.
Johnson may not be a top priority for the team’s tight end plans next
season, but he will sure provide some depth at the position. Rob Gronkowski
decided to retire, and Dwayne Allen signed with the Miami Dolphins. At this
point, the Patriots rely on Jacob Hollister, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson and
None of these players will replace Gronk. The NFL Draft is of big importance for the Patriots, and this year’s class has some great tight ends, including Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant to Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr and Jace Sternberger from Texas A&M. One of these tight ends may be a great addition for the Patriots as they try to build a roster without Rob Gronkowski.
Johnson is an offseason flyer with a potential to contribute after a
year spent with the practice unit.