Report: New England Patriots Land Falcons’ Tight End

The New England Patriots are entering their 2019 season with a lot of questions regarding their tight end position. The team lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement in March. Veteran Benjamin Watson earned a four-game suspension, and will miss the beginning of the season. In the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, Matt LaCosse went down with an injury.

We don’t have much information about the injury, and the Patriots are covering the bases.

Tight end Lance Kendricks didn’t travel to Detroit with the team for the joint practices with the Lions. He is dealing with an undisclosed ailment. Ryan Izzo and Stephen Anderson are the Patriots’ only healthy tight ends at the moment. Fullbacks James Develin, Andrew Beck and Jakob Johnson are there, too.

ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss reported that the team got third-year tight end Eric Saubert via trade from the Atlanta Falcons. In order to get the 25-year-old on the team, the Patriots are sending a conditional seventh-round draft selection to the Falcons.

“The Patriots are acquiring third-year tight end Eric Saubert from the Falcons in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft choice, per sources. Saubert is in his third sesson from Drake.”

Saubert entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. He established himself as a rotational depth option for the roster as well as core special teamer. He played in a combined thirty games for the Falcons, with 2018 being his best season: he was able to catch 5 passes for 48 yards, while playing 16.8% of the team’s snaps on offense (178 of 1,060). Saubert lined up for 66.4% of Atlanta’s snaps in the kicking game (292 of 440).

Getting Saubert gives the Patriots a nice depth, but they are above the 90-man offseason roster limit. What will be their next move? They have to give up on someone. This doesn’t affect the possibility to get Rob Gronkowski back on the field. Gronk says ‘no,’ but he promised to stay retired forever. The tight end even lost a lot of weight, and has too much fun to think of football at the moment. But, impossible is nothing.

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