New England Patriots

(Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

After fortifying their tight end position to start the week, the Patriots opened up some space in the room on Thursday. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the team is sending tight end Ryan Izzo to Houston in exchange for a 2022 seventh-round pick.

The move comes just a few days after the Patriots signed the top two tight ends in this year’s free agency class, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Last season, the Patriots ranked last in the NFL in terms of tight end production, with Izzo starting 12 games.

It’s likely that the additions of Smith and Henry, plus the potential of 2020 third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, would have knocked Izzo off the roster at some point this summer. By trading him now, the Patriots guarantee a return.

Izzo was originally drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round in 2018, and missed his rookie season due to injury. Over the next two years he’d catch 19 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown in 18 games.

This is the second trade between Bill Belichick’s Patriots and Nick Caserio’s Texans this week. On Sunday, the team sent tackle Marcus Cannon to Houston in a pick swap deal.

MORE: Patriots Free Agency Tracker

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.