New England Patriots

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 29: Paul Butler #81 of the Oakland Raiders grabs the ball against DeShawn Shead #35 of the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter during their NFL preseason game at CenturyLink Field on August 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth,

Bill Belichick continues to tinker with his roster even as full-speed training camp practices begin.

Monday morning, the Patriots reportedly signed tight end Paul Butler, according to NESN’s Doug Kyed. Butler worked out for the team on Sunday.

The signing leaves the Patriots with four open roster spots.

A 2018 UDFA out of Division II California (PA), Butler spent the last two years on and off the Raiders practice squad, having been cut and released six times.

Butler’s 6-foot-6, 250 pound frame fits what the Patriots usually look for at tight end, but his lack of game experience and late introduction into the system likely make him a long shot to make the team.

The Patriots now have six tight ends on the roster as training camp gets underway. Ryan Izzo remains the only one to have NFL game experience, with Butler becoming just the second non-rookie at the position. The rest of the group is made up of draft picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, and UDFA’s Rashod Berry and Jake Burt. Veteran Matt LaCosse opted out earlier this month.

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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? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at