New England Patriots

By Alex Barth,

After what can fairly be described as a disaster of a year by their tight ends, the Patriots are all in on improving the position in 2020.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, New England has the top two players at the position in their crosshairs.

The Patriots indicated this week as they met with agents that their hat will be in the ring with free agent tight ends. They inquired on [Austin] Hooper before the trade deadline, but it may be tough for them to get to what he will command on the market. If [Hunter] Henry’s tagged, as expected, it’ll be challenging to find a paradigm-shifting answer at the position. But New England’s always been creative about these things. I’d expect they will be in trying to find the guy to fill Gronk’s old spot.

As Breer mentioned, Henry could be tagged by the Los Angeles Chargers, taking him off the market. However, the Falcons have already committed to letting Hooper hit free agency.

The Patriots will need more than just Henry or Hooper to fix the position, but getting a top-flight tight end is a start. They’ll also have to fill out the depth through other signings and likely the draft. We covered their options at the position last month.

When the league tampering period begins on March 16, the Patriots can get in touch with Hooper or any other tight ends they think are a fit. Signings can become official March 18.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at