The Broncos acquired tight end A.J. Derby from the Patriots, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). New England will receive a 2017 fifth-round pick in the swap. Denver has confirmed the deal via press release.
Tight end has been a weak spot for Denver this season. Derby, who is technically still a rookie, could see playing time right away for the Broncos.
“A.J. is a young tight end who can help us immediately,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway. “He has tremendous upside and will fit in well on our team.”
So far this year, Derby has only been on the field for 36 snaps. That’s understandable considering that he is playing behind both Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. In the preseason, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards and one score.
Derby was a sixth-round pick by New England in the 2015 draft. Unfortunately, he had to be placed on IR last year and missed his entire rookie season. The 6’5″, 225 pound tight end had 22 catches, 303 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in his final year at Arkansas. Prior to that, Derby was a quarterback for the Razorbacks.
Of course, this marks the Patriots’ second trade of the day. Earlier this afternoon, the Pats sent a draft pick to the Lions in exchange for linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.