With Training Camp team practices set to begin in less than 24 hours, the New England Patriots apparently have addressed a veteran need at a key offensive position. Per sources, the Patriots have signed tight end Lance Kendricks to a one-year deal. The signing was first reported on Wednesday by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Kendricks, 31, is an eight-year NFL veteran. The 6-foot-3, 250 pound, former Wisconsin Badger was a second-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2011. He played his first six NFL seasons as the team’s starting tight end. Kendricks compiled a career-high 519 receiving yards in 2012 and earned a career-high 50 receptions in 2016. Last season, while playing for the Green Bay Packers, he caught 19 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown.
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Following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, New England has been seeing a veteran presence at tight end. The Pats attempted to fill that void by adding Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Matt LaCosse and bringing in Benjamin Watson, for a second tour of duty. Watson, however, was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a violation of the league’s substance policy. Also, the team released Seferian-Jenkins, after he decided to step away from football to focus on personal issues.
Kendricks is expected to compete for a spot on the Patriots 53-man roster, along with LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC