The New England Patriots continue to take shots on tight ends.
The latest player added to the TE room comes via trade.
The Pats shipped a conditional seventh-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Eric Saubert, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday, per a source informed of the decision.
ESPN first reported the news. The Falcons later confirmed the trade.
Saubert, a 2017 fifth-round pick, had five receptions on nine targets for 48 yards in 2018 with the Falcons. The 6-foot-5 TE also had just one catch for seven yards in two preseason games this year. After entering the NFL out of Drake with pass-catching potential, in two years in Atlanta, Saubert showed more acumen as a pass and run blocker than as a receiver. That the Falcons gave up on him despite needing depth at the position speaks volumes about their evaluation of the young player.
The Patriots tight end room has been shuffling new faces in an out this entire offseason in an attempt to fill the void left by the retired Rob Gronkowski. Benjamin Watson (suspended four games) sits atop the depth chart. Matt LaCosse should also play a key role but left the team’s first preseason game early after suffering an apparent injury. Lance Kendricks was recently added. Stephen Anthony, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck round out the room Saubert enters.
There is a good chance the Pats aren’t done tinkering with the TE room in 2019.