Patriots To Sign Dan Vitale

The Patriots continue to make smaller under the radar moves as they re-tool their team in the wake of Tom Brady‘s departure. New England is signing fullback Dan Vitale, his agent Chris Cabbott told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The Pats and Bill Belichick like to use fullbacks a lot, so this is a significant move. This also could spell the end of the road for the Patriots’ longtime fullback James Develin. Develin signed with New England back in 2012 and has been their full-time fullback since 2013. He was limited to only two games in 2019 because of a neck injury, and his absence had a big impact on their running game.

We haven’t heard much about him since, and it’s possible that his neck injury is going to prevent him from playing. Either way, it looks like the Pats will be moving forward with Vitale. Vitale spent last year as the Packers’ fullback, catching seven passes for 97 yards while playing about 16 percent of the offensive snaps. In 2018, Develin was used on more than 35 percent of New England’s snaps.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Patriots To Sign Dan Vitale

  1. madmc44

    I saw a short video of him in action-he looks good out of the backfield. good blocking ability. Must be smart having been a student athlete at Northwestern. Good BB pick-up.

    • Lightning

      Having watch3d him at Northwestern he is a very good receiver out of the backfield——something the Pats have used a lot with James White, etc.

  2. steve dolan

    This is the beginning of a trend toward a predominant running game for the Pats next season. Now they need a good TE.

  3. metsie1

    Packers really didn’t use him. He did show some potential in the pre-season. Good luck to him in New England. Hopefully he gets the chance he needs.

  4. phillyballers

    So the Pats are effectively done signing people. <800k in cap space.

    Waiting for them to release Sanu (6.5M), restructure Edelman (2.5M) and Mason (3.06M).

    Bill isn't going to tank. Jameis Winston or Cam Newton are not getting starter money, both will only get back-up money. One of the only places they may get a chance to start.

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