Surprise, surprise. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the New England Patriots are set to sign another tight end. In the event that Michael Hoomanawanui passes a physical, the team is expected to sign the third year tight end.
If signed to the team, this leaves the Patriots with 5 tight ends: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells, Visanthe Shianco and Hoomanawanui.
Shockingly (not really), Hoomanawanui has played for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in St. Louis. He became a free agent when the St. Louis Rams cut him due to roster limits.
Drafted in 2010, the 6’4 tight end was the fifth round pick for the Rams. In two years Hoomanawanui has caught 20 passes for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Hoomanawanui is the third receiver/tight end to join the Patriots alongside McDaniels with the others being starting receiver Brandon Lloyd and the recently signed Greg Salas.
With Hernandez most likely to replace former Patriots receiver Deion Branch as the third or fourth overall receiver and the Patriots showing that the tight ends will be the feature of the offense, Hoomanawanui may get some playing time early on against the Tennessee Titans.
Everybody already knows the big roles that tight ends play in the New England offense so they never want to have a shortage of athletic big men. Gronkowski is the most talented but that doesn’t mean the Patriots don’t have faith in any of the other guys to produce. They just signed Hernandez to a long term deal even when Gronk receives most of the headlines.
NFL rumors are always fun to watch especially in New England where it’s almost tight end by committee so all of the guys now they have a shot to see some action on Sundays.