After a series of roster cuts and signings, Matthew Mulligan is now the fourth tight end on the New England Patriots depth chart. So this was the big move after Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells were cut? It seems like Bill Belichick is putting too much faith in the health of his top two tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Zach Sudfeld. If either one goes down, the Patriots might be in some trouble.
Mulligan was an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maine in 2008. He has literally bounced from franchise to franchise, playing for the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers and now the Patriots. The reason that he hasn’t stuck with any one franchise is because Mulligan offers virtually nothing in the passing game. He is a very nonathletic 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. However, he can block a little and adds some value on special teams. These abilities are valuable for a fourth tight end, but Belichick had the chance to have a solid third end in Ballard and fourth tight end in Michael Hoomanawanui.
Speaking of the Hoo Man, Mulligan’s addition makes Hoomanawanui the third tight end on the depth chart. Now that’s just plain silly. He can block and contribute on special teams, and he knows this offense better than Mulligan. If anything, Hoomanawanui would be the ideal fourth tight end for this team. And that wouldn’t be terrible considering that he is still young and has some upside.
But now Belichick has a 28-year-old journeyman on his roster. Hopefully no injuries come to Gronkowski and/or Sudfeld, or Mulligan might be forced to take the field on offense.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.