The situation developing for the New England Patriots and their tight ends isn’t too promising, which might make them dive into the free agency market one more time, possibly considering signing Dallas Clark or David Thomas to fill the position.
Both Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are two of the league’s best at Tight End, making the Patriots rely heavily on their two-TE sets. However, Gronkowski ongoing injury problems and Hernandez’ trouble with the law put a serious question mark regarding the availability of the two for the beginning of next season and maybe even longer.
No one loves showing how much he can do with so little like Bill Belichick – part as a challenge he sees, part as an ego-trip he gets his kick from. The Patriots have Jake Ballard lineup up to be a bigger part of their offense as well, with others, like Daniel Fells, waiting to get called upon.
But the Patriots have a bigger problem, as their wide receivers core isn’t the most talented in the world, and for a team that relies on its aerial attack so heavily (despite having a 1200-yard rusher), facing such a squad shortage of talent at both WR and TE means that it’s either back to the drawing board or trying to fill in the gaps as best as possible with players still available.
Dallas Clark is probably the first name that comes up. The 34-year old, 10-year veteran spent most of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, playing for the Bucs last year, catching 47 passes for 435 yards. He still has very good hands, but possibly just as important, he’s a very positive locker room figure, and fits quite well in the ‘moving’ tight end role Hernandez usually fills.
David Thomas is a similar kind of tight end, just with a lot less credentials and impressive numbers to his career. Thomas began his life in the NFL with the Patriots (2006-2008), playing the last four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, catching 11 passes for 86 yards last season, eventually getting released.