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Patriots keep spinning the Wheel of Tight Ends

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For a team with uncertainty at the top of the depth chart, the Patriots are running a revolving door of tight ends through the bottom.

According to Mike Reiss of, the Patriots have released veteran tight end Ben Hartsock, who was signed Sunday.

Their top three tight ends — Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams — are either out of practice or limited with injuries.

Hartsock is a capable blocker who played well for the Panthers in recent years, but the Patriots apparently saw enough of him in a few days to move on. Of the three tight ends they signed Sunday, two are already gone.

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27 Responses to “Patriots keep spinning the Wheel of Tight Ends”
  1. dartmouthstevens says: Aug 14, 2014 10:30 AM

    Odds the Patriots cut down to 74 on first cut, and sign a cast-off RFA TE. On the cut to 53, they go to 52 and sign a cast-off FA TE.

  2. 700levelvet says: Aug 14, 2014 10:32 AM

    Maybe Kraft has lobbied his sweetheart Roger to bail Hernandez out of jail…you know how love is ….

  3. valentino8100 says: Aug 14, 2014 10:35 AM

    Ultimately, the Patriots Super Bowl aspirations may live and die with Gronk’s precarious health. Not a great feeling for this New England fan.

  4. p8riotdynastylives says: Aug 14, 2014 10:40 AM

    Dustin Kelleher signing is on the horizon. ….

  5. GBwomenrhot says: Aug 14, 2014 10:41 AM

    The Bears will have one for them at the final cutdown…6th Rd pic for trade?

  6. getyourownname says: Aug 14, 2014 10:48 AM

    You have to wonder why, if all they want is a tryout for a couple days, they couldn’t just do a tryout before signing. Is there some reason for “signing” someone you have no interest in seeing play a game?

  7. uglydingo says: Aug 14, 2014 10:48 AM

    The Patriots have had many chances to upgrade TE since last season. They know the annual injury risk with Gronk, Hernandez left the building a long time ago and we know Hoomanawanui isn’t the solution.
    Belichick gets a pass because he is Belichick but he could have devoted a high draft pick to a TE or spent some money recruiting a decent free agent.
    It’s a bit late to scour the scrapheap now.

  8. harshedmellow says: Aug 14, 2014 10:57 AM

    Brady in decline, and Gronkowski, who I like, is brittle as hell on a football field (which I can relate to).

    Methinks this era of the Pats is toast, folks.

  9. patriottony says: Aug 14, 2014 10:58 AM

    I think they are just kiccking the tires all all these guys,,,bring them into camp..give them a weeks pay just to see if they fit at all…they have been so quiet about Dustin keller..I’m thinking he is still their plan…

  10. mogogo1 says: Aug 14, 2014 11:03 AM

    They’ve rolled the dice and lost with basically every tight end decision they’ve made the past couple years. “Hernandez was going to be a model citizen and Gronk was going to stay healthy” was their mantra.

  11. kissbillsrings says: Aug 14, 2014 11:06 AM

    TONY GONZALES is coming out of retirement!!! LOL

  12. weepingjebus says: Aug 14, 2014 11:11 AM

    So funny how Brady’s “decline” is the same as career years for anyone else not named Peyton Manning. I won’t write him off until he’s sitting on his private island in his hall of fame jacket, and even then he might return for a few games every season just to give Jets fans acid reflux for old time’s sake.

  13. kholt1134 says: Aug 14, 2014 11:32 AM

    Please, please, please, do not rush Gronk back. Reports he was favoring his healthy leg when running. We need him for the last 4 games of the season (Playoffs), not the first 4.

  14. genericcommenter says: Aug 14, 2014 11:34 AM

    I know the position is more pass-oriented these days, but wasn’t he rated the best blocking tight end in the NFL last year?

  15. pedmeg says: Aug 14, 2014 11:55 AM

    Devlin for TE !

    At least until Gronk can come back…

    This makes the Pats not pulling the trigger on a tight end or two in the draft that much more of a head scratcher.

    Oh well – in BB we trust.

  16. yette1 says: Aug 14, 2014 12:16 PM

    Makes you wonder why BB picked Garrapolo when he had that kid from Mich State sitting there in the draft.

    One thing can be agreed on, since the Hernandez incident, the Pats front office has completely fumbled in finding another TE. Funny part is, the local media is so compliant, they never criticize Patriots in any way. I guess thats why the press conferenences are so insightful.

  17. patriotsdefense says: Aug 14, 2014 12:19 PM

    So I’m guessing they kick the tires of Dustin Keller after week 1?

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 14, 2014 12:31 PM

    Well there’s not much point in solving the puzzle if you haven’t landed on a big potential prize. Spin until you do that first and don’t leave value for somebody else to scoop up away from you, find your Tight End that you came to spin for and secure him back to your hometown and share the glory and the fortune!

  19. dalcow4 says: Aug 14, 2014 12:51 PM

    Oh man this team has almost no talent.

  20. belicheckisgod says: Aug 14, 2014 1:03 PM

    People need to slow down with their assessments of the pats TE situation. Bill has been very good at changing his offense based on what he had for talent. In the early years his TE were used as blockers later he moved to great receiving TE in two TE sets to take better advantage of miss matches. I believe this year the offense will be more WR driven and there will not be as many Two Te sets. Digging through the scrape heap is what bill does and he tends to find more gems than duds. “No stone left unturned” is one of the many reason he is a future hall of fame coach. Dj Williams is a not well known TE but I believe he has the physical tools to play as the number 2 TE he just needs a chance. If all else fails they will sign someone who’s cut from another team. This team put up the third most points in the nfl last year with a “declining” Brady and a boat load of rookie receivers. I think they’ll be just fine. I’d rather see Gronk sit and be healthy for the playoffs than rush him back.

  21. ncphinsfan says: Aug 14, 2014 1:15 PM

    Trust me if Dustin Keller’s health was in good shape the Dolphins would have resigned him. He had a massive triple knee tear… Even a 22 year would take 18 months to recover from. I hope he does get signed even if it is with the Pats. He showed great promise in Camp and 2 PreSeason Games last year. Teams will be cutting good TE’ s soon. Nothing wrong with kicking the tires. This Preseason is brutal because no team wants to risk starters, but someone has to play the other 80% of the game.

  22. catquick says: Aug 14, 2014 1:50 PM

    Rent, don’t buy, when NE picks you up.

  23. pulloutiwannafart says: Aug 14, 2014 2:37 PM

    Brady is taking too much cap space for this team to win anything. Big name QBs take too much cap space to build a championship calibre team. Transition to Garapolo as soon as possible if you are to have any chance of winning.

  24. VenerableAxiom says: Aug 14, 2014 3:18 PM

    Doesn’t sound like Gronk is going to be anywhere near 100% to start the season.

  25. lanman11 says: Aug 14, 2014 8:12 PM

    DJ Swearinger, Safety, Houston Texans, in a preseason game, went low and struck Dustin Keller’s knee DIRECTLY with his helmet while the knee was under pressure and blew it up, later claiming he hit him low like that “to avoid a fine,” ostensibly because he figured he couldn’t actually tackle the guy. Swearinger is no better than low character players like Bernard Pollard and TJ Ward, all of whom are willing to ruin a guys career to make a point to the NFL about their own selfish needs.

  26. dburlingham says: Aug 15, 2014 11:16 AM

    I get that it looks like Gronk is brittle but honestly, from the looks of that hit on the knee, it would have taken a lot of players down. Now, the forearm was him being an idiot and not letting the thing heal properly and being in places where you can get infections as seen by the multiple surgeries he had on the thing. Just a hopeful NE fan I guess…

  27. dlind87 says: Aug 15, 2014 10:16 PM

    They have called back Justin Jones for another look.

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