A New England Patriots helmet rests on the side line during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Rumors: Dallas Clark, David Thomas targets?

With the murder investigation surrounding Aaron Hernandez combined with multiple offseason surgeries for fellow star tight end Rob Gronkowski, there is some uncertainty surrounding the New England Patriots at the tight end position. Even though I think the team is fine with Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells, and Zach Sudfeld for the start of the season, there is a legitimate possibility of the Patriots signing another veteran tight end to add to the mix. Hooman and Fells are simply blocking tight ends, Sudfeld is a diamond in the rough but unproven as a whole, and Ballard is the only known commodity (he is coming off of major knee reconstruction, though).

According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss in his always-terrific Sunday “Quick-hit” column, Dallas Clark and David Thomas would his top two targets for the New England Patriots if they want to add another TE given the current Hernandez situation. What would help both Thomas and Clark is the fact that they are versatile and can play as H-backs if needed, because that’s something the Patriots like to have in TEs. I mean, Thomas was used heavily in that role when he played for the Patriots from 2006-2008, and both Hooman and Hernandez are used as H-backs by the Patriots these days.

Clark, as Reiss notes, visited the Patriots last offseason before deciding to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following an illustrious career with the Indianapolis Colts. Although 34 and with not interest this offseason, Clark showed he had it last season with a solid 47 receptions and four touchdowns. At 6’3″, Clark can be a red zone guy, and Thomas has similar size, though he is more of a blocking tight end. I would think Clark would be the more attractive option to the Patriots because of his pass-catching ability.

Reiss writes that Clark and Thomas both have reputations as great locker room guys, and that’s definitely a positive and something that is clearly true with both tight ends.

Your turn in the comments: Do you want to see the Pats sign another tight end? If so, who? What are your thoughts on these two TEs?

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Tags: Dallas Clark David Thomas New England Patriots

  • Hal Bent

    Clark or Thomas would be fine. I really was disappointed in Fells inability to work his way into the passing game last year and Hoo-man seemed a designated blocker. Ballard and Sudfeld both are intriguing additions, but nice to know there are still options on the market (and likely at cheap, team friendly deals)

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Hooman is a better receiver than people think (def better than Fells), but you need blocking TEs like him and Fells (Fells is a great blocker, better than Hooman in that regard). Ballard would be a solid starter in this league, and Sudfeld certainly is intriguing.

  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    I would hate to see the Pats sign 34 year old Clark for a year or two only to lose Sudfeld to another team trying to sneak him on the practice squad. While Clark may prove to be a short quick fix, the TE situation should be addressed with talented youth for long term stability.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Great point, Sudfeld is a guy I want to see in New England for the long haul, at least until we can see what we have in him. I doubt he gets poached, but you are right in saying that it might not be worth the risk. Clark is solid, but the Pats situation at TE isn’t all that bad. I agree that we don’t need to sign another guy (if the Pats don’t win the SB, then it won’t be the fault of the TE position, let me just put it that way), but if the Pats did then Clark is the best option.

  • Jimmy M. Wong

    Sign David Thomas, he’s a lot younger.

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