The New England Patriots have signed Michael Hoomanawanui, after ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss first reported that he was expected to sign with the team if he passed his physical. He has passed and is now a part of the team, per Adam Caplan and agent Rick Smith.
Kellen Winslow Jr. is currently visiting the Patriots, but he is definitely a player the Pats are looking at for emergency list purposes only with the signing of “Big Mike”. Hoomanawanui certainly fits a bigger need at tight end with his run blocking ability, and he is also a better receiver than some people give him credit for.
Formerly of the St. Louis Rams, Josh McDaniels was his offensive coordinator this past season, bringing up another McDaniels connection to a new Patriots. Recovering from an ACL tear, Hoomanawanui struggled to stay healthy in his time with the Rams despite showing prowess as a blocker when healthy.
That’s why the big concern was whether or not he would pass his physical, but “Illinois Mike” has and is slated to take over the No.4 TE role in place of Visanthe Shiancoe, who will likely be placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
A part of the 53-man roster, Big Mike was released by the Rams this offseason before being picked up last month by the Washington Redskins shortly after being released. They then released him from their practice squad, and he is now a member of the New England Patriots. It’s a solid depth move for the team and helps them bulk up at TE with more run blocking. But, then again, Aaron Hernandez is more receiver than tight end with the amount of places he’s aligned on the field.
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