New England’s top two tight ends are dealing with injury issues at the moment, leaving opportunities for others at the position to take some extra reps during offseason work.
One of the players in position to take those reps is Michael Hoomanawanui. The Patriots announced that Hoomanawanui, who signed with New England just before the start of last season, has signed his restricted free agent tender from the team. Hoomanawanui will make $1.323 million next season after receiving an original round tender, which means the Pats would have received a fifth-round pick if anyone signed the tight end away.
That didn’t happen, which means that Hoomanawanui will join Daniel Fells as healthy returnees from last season. Jake Ballard is also on the roster, but the team is taking it slowly as Ballard makes his way back from the torn knee ligaments that cost him the entire 2012 season.
None of those guys can replicate what Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez bring to the offense, which makes it a good thing for the Pats that there are still almost four months to go before the start of training camp.