According to Field Yates of ESPN Boston, the New England Patriots have released Justin Jones, Asa Watson, and Stephen Houston. In response to this, they have signed three tight ends.
The New England Patriots have waived undrafted rookie tight ends Asa Watson and Justin Jones and running back Stephen Houston, according to a league source. In corresponding moves, the team has signed a trio of tight ends: veterans Ben Hartsock and Steve Maneri and 2014 undrafted free agent Terrence Miller.
The releases of those three guys do not surprise me, as all three were unspectacular in the first preseason game, and were a long shot to make the final roster. Coming into camp, I had high expectations for Jones, simply because he had raw potential as an athlete. His size alone should have been intriguing, but it was obvious once he got on the field he didn’t have what it took to produce for this team.
Now as for who signed, it sounds like all three will have their work out cut out for them in making this team. I don’t much about any of them, but according to Yates, Hartsock has been in the league for quite some time, and at 265 pounds, is supposed to be a quality blocking tight end. He spent last season with the Carolina Panthers. This is something the Pats could use behind Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui, as having a trio of solid blocking tight ends could present a lot of matchup problems for the opposition.
We will see how these new guys look in the coming weeks, and we will also be paying attention to D.J. Willliams’ status going forward. He has been injured as of late, which I am sure factored into Bill Belichick’s decision to bring a new crop of tight ends in. Bringing in three tight ends also may signal the end of the Williams era in Foxboro.