Sports

What Will the Patriots do at Tight End?

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Quite the predicament the New England Patriots have found themselves in. And by no fault of their own, worst of all. From having the most prolific group of pass catchers in the slot, at receiver and tight end, to losing all three of them for different reasons; all in varying degrees of controllability and length of time.

Firstly, they lost Wes Welker in free agency to their AFC rival Denver Broncos in free agency. That loss was mitigated by the signing of Danny Amendola, but Amendola has never been as productive as Welker and is considerably less durable. If I have to explain the circumstances surrounding Aaron Hernandez, well, I don’t know. Leave the house. And then there’s the perennially injured Rob Gronkowski, who just underwent back surgery.

All things considered, the Patriots are one freak injury away from Tom Brady throwing to the water boy in practice, or even worse... Tim Tebow.While it’s probably not that bad, the Patriots do have a serious need at tight end. But hey, better these problems arise during the offseason, right? If there’s any positive to this situation, it has to be it’s happening two months away from the season opener giving the Patriots ample time to solve this situation either in-house or through free agency. Maybe even trade.

Within their franchise they have the tandem of Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui as available fill ins. The duo combined for less than 200 yards last season and as such can be considered no better than last resorts. Should either one of these two be forced into the starting lineup things could get grizzly.

Of the two Fells presents the most upside and promise as a potential fill in, for at least the short term. Hoomanawanui could play at tight end, but is best suited as a fullback or an H-back.

Pickings are slim on the free agent market at this time of year, but there’s some intriguing prospects left in the clearance bin. The best of all the available tight ends is probably Dallas Clark. He’s coming off of one of his more forgettable season, but still put up 435 yards. Clark makes the most sense based on his veteran savvy and understanding of the position. After Clark the Patriots best options would be one of either Randy McMichael or Kevin Boss.

Maybe Tebow’s not such a bad option after all.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV

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