The New England Patriots, per Mike Reiss, are expected to sign 24-year-old tight end Michael Hoomanawanui to the 53-man roster, should he pass a physical. The Pats are working out the former St. Louis Rams TE.
“Big Mike” played for the Rams for two seasons; one in Josh McDaniels’s brief stint as the team’s offensive coordinator. He was released by the team and joined the ‘Skins practice squad before Washington released him a couple of days ago.
The Illinois product is a slightly above-average receiver and a good run blocker who would be a good No. 4 TE for the Patriots. “Illinois Mike” was not a productive player in two seasons for the Rams, but that’s because he always struggled with injuries and is coming off of an ACL tear.
A blocking specialist, there is no doubting Hoomanawanui’s ability to contribute as a backup tight end. The problem is if he is healthy enough to pass the physical and end up on the Patriots. Visanthe Shiancoe is likely headed to the injured reserve with an undisclosed injury after missing the last few preseason games and the majority of training camp.
Big Mike presents an upgrade over Shiancoe as a run blocker, even if he is worse overall due to Shiancoe’s durability and pass-catching ability. Still, Hoomanawanui can add another dimension to the best group of TEs in the league with his blocking, but the main thing is to see if he his healthy.
The Pats worked out Kellen Winslow as well, whose numbers were cut by Josh Freeman’s poor season. He wasn’t as bad as people said he was. I used to cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on FanSided, and I wrote a post about why the stats are misleading. The guys from the Pro Football Focus agreed.
Still, Winslow is likely a player the Patriots are looking at in case of an injury with Hoomanawanui being the more preferred player. Winslow is declining, but a large part of release was due to not liking new Bucs coach Greg Schiano. His release from the Seattle Seahawks is more concerning, which is why the Pats will most likely not sign him.
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