The New England Patriots tight end Zach Sudfeld was released Thursday afternoon in a series of a roster moves. Earlier in the day, the Patriots signed concussion-prone wide receiver Austin Collie to add some depth at the wide receiver position. The team has also placed Vince Wilfork on injured reserved.
Zach Sudfeld looked to be a promising signing during OTA’s and training camp. When the preseason started, he demonstrated some difficulty in making adjustments, but hey… that’s just preseason. The move does not necessarily come to a total surprise since Sudfeld’s production for the past four games have been insignificant – zero catches and only targeted twice.
Tom Brady targeted Sudfeld in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, which turned out to be an interception as the ball was tipped off Sudfeld’s hands. He then was listed on the injury report due a hamstring injury. The next time he had the ball thrown at him was during Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; the ball intended for Sudfeld in the endzone was picked off by Mark Barron. However, that ball should never have been targeted to Sudfeld as he was covered by two defenders – unless the tight end was Rob Gronkowski.
Sudfeld really sealed his fate with the Patriots on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons by losing the ball on the onside kick. Add Vince Wilfork’s injury, and Bill Belichick really can’t afford to have a player with little-to-no production.
The release of Sudfeld is sad, though, because Sudfeld really looked like a promising tight end to succeed in the Patriots system. If he clears waivers, he could come back to the team’s practice squad. But with Gronkowski returning soon, the need for this new tight end has diminished.