Karras was widely projected to be the team’s top backup on the interior line, so his release comes as a surprise. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Pats in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and played in all 16 regular season games last year. He also appeared in all three playoff games as a reserve.
O’Shaughnessy, acquired via trade in April, was competing for the third tight end spot. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has played in 23 NFL games with six starts.
February 14th, 2017 at 3:55pm CST by Zachary Links
Glenn Gronkowski is back in the building. The Patriots announced that they have signed the fullback to a futures deal.
The 6-foot-3, 234-pounder was signed by the Bills as a UDFA and was even on the 53-man roster for Week 1. He was cut soon after, however, and he went on to have four different stints on the Patriots’ practice squad. Gronkowski, 22, was thought to be in limbo earlier this month when the Pats signed nine others to futures deals. It took an extra week, but Baby Gronk is back in the fold with New England.
Here is the full list of all ten players now signed to futures deals with the Pats:
Patriots coach Bill Belichick started a “no days off!” chant during today’s victory parade, and that sentiment was confirmed hours later when the team announced that they had signed the majority of their practice squad to reserve/futures contracts (via Patriots.com):
Housler is probably the most notable name on the list, as the tight end has five NFL seasons under his belt. The former third-round pick was actually a staple in the Cardinals lineup from 2011 through 2014, averaging nearly 14 games a season. The tight end was especially productive in 2012 and 2013, combining for 84 receptions, 871 yards, and one touchdown in 28 games. Since then, the tight end bounced between the Bears and Browns before sitting out the entire 2016 campaign.
Otherwise, Kilgo has the most experience having played in 18 games for the Broncos between 2015 and 2016. Douglas (16 games, six starts), Barker (five games), Hamilton (three games), and Bates (one game) have also seen the field for at least one NFL game. Both Gaffney and Lucien proved to be intriguing prospects for the Patriots during this past preseason.
The younger Gronkowski signed with the AFC East rival Bills this year as an undrafted free agent from Kansas State and cracked their Week 1 roster, but the team cut him after its opening loss to the Ravens. Gronkowski auditioned for the Patriots in mid-September, and the club has now decided to add him to their taxi squad.
In order to create a practice squad roster spot for Gronkowski, the Patriots have cut wide receiver Da’Ron Brown, according to Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). New England had just signed Brown earlier this week.