Patriots parting ways with Stephen Anderson, Eric Saubert

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The makeup of the Patriots tight end corps in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement has been a storyline throughout the offseason and it is starting to take shape ahead of Saturday’s deadline to drop to 53 players.

According to multiple reports, the Patriots are cutting Stephen Anderson. Nick Underhill of TheAthletic.com also reports that they are waiving Eric Saubert.

Anderson spent last season on the New England practice squad after catching 36 passes for 435 yards and two touchdowns over two seasons with the Texans. Saubert was acquired in a trade with the Falcons earlier this month. The compensation was a conditional seventh-round pick and it’s likely making the team was one of the conditions to convey that pick.

Benjamin Watson will serve a four-game suspension to open the season and Lance Kendricks is suspended for the opener, which leaves Matt LaCosse, Andrew Beck and Ryan Izzo as the current in-house options at tight end for Week One. Other moves around the league in the coming hours could reshape that group before the Pats host the Steelers next Sunday night.