The Patriots have solved their logjam at the tight end position by dealing David Thomas to the Saints, releasing veteran Alex Smith and then trading with the Giants for tight end Michael Matthews in exchange for a conditional pick. Adam Schefter at ESPN tweeted those moves.
That means New England now has Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker at the position along with Matthews, a tight end who’s more proficient as a blocker than receiver.
In the spring, the Patriots sent Tampa Bay a fifth-round pick in next spring’s draft for Smith, a third-rounder back in 2005. Thomas, meanwhile, was a third-round pick out of Texas in the 2006 draft. He’s an excellent receiver but not much of a blocker.
Given the pressure Tom Brady is sure to see from opposing pass rushes this season, the Pats may be looking to shore up the tight end area with bodyguards.