Visanthe Shiancoe to visit Patriots on Thursday

By Gil Alcaraz IV

After months of watching the free agency pool dry up, Visanthe Shiancoe will finally get another opportunity to show that he can still play in the NFL in 2012.

Several months after the veteran tight end visited with the Seattle Seahawks, Shiancoe will head to the Northeast to meet with the New England Patriots on Thursday.

Shiancoe, who last played for the Minnesota Vikings, has arrived at the backend of his NFL career. A nine-year veteran, the 32-year old has compiled 243 receptions for 2,677 yards and 27 touchdowns throughout his career. His production declined in 2010 and 2011 after peaking in 2009, leading to the Vikings allowing him to leave via free agency this offseason.

Back in March, Shiancoe turned down a one-year, $1.2-million offer from the Seahawks. Even if the Patriots do see enough in the aging pass-catcher, it’s unlikely that their offer will amount to much more than the Seahawks’ offer did.

The Patriots, who already boast the talents of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at tight end, will most likely be looking to incite some competition for the No. 3 spot during training camp if they add Shiancoe. Their options currently included veteran Daniel Fells and undrafted rookies Brad Herman and Nick Melillo.

Even though he’s been on a steep decline over the past couple of seasons, it’s not completely irrational to believe that Shiancoe could find himself in that No. 3 role if he can prove that some of that 2009 magic still exists.

Like Brett Favre taught us when he was throwing touchdowns to Shiancoe with the Vikings, it’s never too late to resurrect a seemingly-dead NFL career.

Follow Gil Alcaraz IV on Twitter.

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