Hello there, with National Tight Ends day rapidly approaching!
Although there has been a rumor going around, I can assure you that I did NOT create it.
Pretty much all Patriots fans are frustrated with the action from the tight end position that we haven’t got going on at the moment. Most of us are puzzled by the lack of use of Devin Asiasi. Also, whilst some believe Ryan Izzo has been working hard and done some good things… not everyone would agree.
Therefore, on that note (and also on assignment by Mr. John Rooke) I have compiled what I think is a reasonable ‘tight endage’ report.
It goes without saying that not every team is in a position where they would want/need to trade with the Patriots. I have attempted to compile a list of teams that may realistically want to make a trade and also tight ends we may be interested in and I would like to stress these opinions are simply my own, I have done research but am unaware of contract clauses for any of the below players and have simply gone on the face monetary value of contracts.
Two high paid, big name guys are Zack Ertz and Hunter Henry.
Although recently injured, Ertz is due to be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. He also has expressed unrest with his contract and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles could release him at no cost and might be interested in a deal for an aging and injured tight end; especially as Dallas Goedert is eligible for contract extension this off season. The upside for the Patriots? Whilst possibly a little expensive, Ertz could inject the spark that we are missing at tight end and may be willing to sign to a one year deal for the change of scenery after being out for just a few weeks.
Henry may be unrealistic as the LA Chargers have a young quarterback under center and could be depending upon the experience around him but with Henry only on a one year contract maybe the Chargers fancy freeing up some draft picks to use as trade capital to strengthen their offensive line.
The Jacksonville Jaguars may be in the market for a veteran Safety and whilst I hate to lose any player at the moment this may be where we have some depth and James O’Shaughnessy becomes an URFA in 2021. With a 2019 two year contract of just over $2.2m, a low-ish cost option who has, although three years ago, had some off season training in the Patriots facility, who could bring some experience and stability and maybe confidence from the quarterback in throwing to him.
David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns has appeared on social media to be asking for a trade. We are unsure if he has his sights set higher than New England how we have been playing at the moment, but the Browns may be interested in releasing the tight end to save face and a safety or corner back could be used with a draft pick perhaps as payment.
The LA Rams have offensive line needs and may be willing to part with Gerald Everett as they drafted Brycen Hopkins and although we have no O-line available to trade for they may find some draft picks reasonable.
The New York Giants have veterans with big cap hits that they may look to release to save money but Evan Engram is a young player that may hold the most trade value and they seem to need some corner back depth. We have a couple in our bag so maybe we could capitalise on that and do a deal.
The Houston Texans are low on draft picks and that may be something that we can easily trade off, however their tight end closet isn’t exactly over flowing. Jordan Akins is currently questionable due to a high ankle sprain, if this is something that doesn’t prevent him from being ready perhaps the Texans are desperate enough to fill their trolley with draft picks?
Finally, the Atlanta Falcons may be in the market for some secondary action with a corner back or safety, again something the Patriots have. Under new coaching, they may be interested in releasing some longer serving pieces and bring in some new bodies so may even be attracted to some draft picks. Hayden Hurst could be a risk with a large contract of around $11m and a back injury. Still, like Ertz he has good numbers and the veteran experience from which we could benefit.
So there you go, folks. There may be possibility for us to add some depth before November 3rd, Coach only knows. Don’t forget, we may yet be blessed with a tight end transformation… Izzo will block his way into your heart and Asiasi will get thrown to and run his ‘asi’ off. (*wink*)
-Clare L. Cooper is a Columnist and Special Contributor for Full Press Coverage. Her New England Patriots insight can be found @FPC_Patriots