With the increasing importance of tight ends in today’s game–the current average for tight ends on a roster is 5.5–it is not surprising that the Patriots have brought in veteran free agent TEs Dustin Keller, Ben Hartsock, and Nate Byham for tryouts over the past couple of weeks, writes Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. The team has two open spots on its 90-man roster, and would like to add more depth to the tight end position with Rob Gronkowski currently unavailable to practice. If the Patriots do decide to pull the trigger on any of those players, Reiss expects it will be after June 1, so they can protect their compensatory picks.
Now for some more notes around the league on this Sunday morning:
- In the same piece, Reiss says that if the Patriots are looking to add a veteran linebacker, James Anderson might be their guy. He was in for a tryout last week, and he offers solid coverage abilities. Again, if New England were to sign him, it would be after June 1.
- Finally, Reiss takes a look at the players the Dolphins drafted with the picks they received in the Brandon Marshall trade and comes to an obvious conclusion: the Bears got the better end of the deal.
- Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union examines UDFA Allen Hurns‘ path to the Jaguars‘ roster and what attracted the team to Toby Gerhart, who currently tops the Jacksonville’s depth chart at running back.
- Chris Boden of CSNChicago.com offers his early projections as to how the Bears‘ final roster might shake out, with the caveat that injuries and veteran additions will inevitably happen.
- Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com looks at a number of Browns-related topics in his weekly mailbag, including several clarifications on the Josh Gordon saga and an early look at the right tackle position battle.
- Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers an early take on the 49ers‘ roster battle at inside linebacker.