Now that the New England Patriots are officially eliminated from the playoffs, it is time to think about next season. There are only a few holes left on this team. One of those holes is at the tight end position, even though Rob Gronkowski is in town.
Josh McDaniels went back to the two-tight-end offense at about mid-season. He used a combination of Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui a lot, and stuck with Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan even after Gronkowski went down for the season. That means that McDaniels is still interested in running the two-tight-end offense.
Well, to do that one needs two good tight ends. Obviously, Gronkowski is one, but Hoomanawanui cannot be considered the second option at the position. As good of a blocker Hoomanawanui is, he is almost a liability as a receiver.
Besides, Gronkowski needs more of a joker tight end to compliment him. A joker tight end is someone who is used all over the formation. Preferably this tight end is built more like a wide receiver (though a little bit taller and a little bit heavier), so that he can be used in multiple roles. That was exactly what Aaron Hernandez was.
Considering the amount of money that Gronkowski is making, this new tight end will either have to come from the draft or have to still be under his rookie contract. It is never good to put too much money into one position, so Nick Caserio should be on the lookout for a cheaper solution.
Bringing in a second talented tight end will help this team greatly. It would take some heat off of Gronkowski and give Tom Brady another red zone target to play with. This is a position that needs to be addressed this offseason.
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.