Shiancoe gives Pats more flexibility, versatility, depth

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After flirting with the likes of Dallas Clark earlier in the offseason, the Pats added a veteran tight end via Tuesday’s signing of Visanthe Shiancoe.

For a team that has Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, it feels like overkill.  But if the team plans to rely that heavily on tight ends, it’s actually a necessity to have strong backups who can fill in if, for example, Gronkowski has a badly sprained ankle.

The move also gives the Pats another way to get creative when attacking defenses via the no-huddle offense.  With Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Shiancoe on the field along with, say, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can utilize a variety of formations without changing personnel — especially now that the team has shown a willingness to line Hernandez up in the backfield.  And give him the ball.

Opposing defenses won’t be able to adjust to the new looks with new personnel.

That’s part of what I talked about during Wednesday’s PFT Live.  What I didn’t discuss (but meant to) was the fact that Shiancoe’s $1.2 million salary (with $400,000 guaranteed) and up to $800,000 in incentives not only means he’ll likely make the 53-man roster, but that he’ll make more than Hernandez this year, who like Gronkowski was picked in 2010 but unlike Gronk has yet to get a new deal.

Though Hernandez likely will get a new deal at some point, until he does he’s the third highest-paid tight end on the team.

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9 responses to “Shiancoe gives Pats more flexibility, versatility, depth

  1. You seem to be forgetting Daniel Fells who is the second highest paid TE on the roster. Shiancoe was added so that when Fells is placed on reserve/PUP when the season starts the Pats will have a solid third TE.

  2. Shiancoe is an above average blocker as well, certainly better than Hernandez, probably better than Gronk also. Although Shiancoe had an “off” year last year, I think it had more to do with the Vikes QB situation. He catches just about everything thrown to him.

  3. If they haven’t already, opposing D’s will figure it out quickly. This just told all Opp coaches what to practice for, if they didn’t already think of it. I think Gronk’s ankle is a bigger concern than they’re letting on. they never give too much away as far as injury reports.

  4. When Hernandez is a long-time veteran, he’ll be paid more than a guy on his first contract. That’s how it goes. No one ever complains that they’re being paid more than someone else.

  5. The Viking dude above that said Shank was an above average blocker and casught everything in sight must have been drinking with the Green Bay fans before Vikings games the last 3 years. The metrics on Shank, as well as the eyeball, show a low completion percentage and average blocking at best — but where he really hurts a team is lack of concentration on alignment and snap count, resulting in way to many illegal procedure or alignment penalties. He’s a great person and an awesome interview, but hardly the second coming of Gronk.

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