Patriots Sign Nate Byham

SUNDAY, 2:19pm: The Patriots have announced the transaction.

SATURDAY, 11:26pm: The Patriots have filled their 90th and final roster spot. Sources tell’s Mike Reiss that the team has signed tight end Nate Byham. The 26-year-old will likely compete with Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams for a chance to back up Rob Gronkowski.

Byham was taken by the 49ers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie before joining the Buccaneers, where he spent the last two seasons. As Reiss points out, the tight end played under former Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, who has a very good relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

The 6-4, 264-pounder is better known for his blocking skills, although Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rates him as a below-average run-blocker. Offensively, Byham has 11 career catches for 83 yards and one touchdown.

Byham had previously worked out for the Patriots, along with fellow tight ends Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock.

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