Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who previously missed OTAs for undisclosed personal reasons, was released by the Patriots on Tuesday.
Not two months into his New England Patriots career, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is once again a free agent.
The 26-year-old University of Washington product had yet to take part in any official team activities at the time of his release on Tuesday. He missed all of OTAs as he attended to undisclosed “personal issues,” and reportedly those same issues kept him from practicing at the first day of the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp.
As a result, the team notified Seferian-Jenkins of his release. It is unknown whether there is any interest on New England’s end in bringing back Seferian-Jenkins once he has sorted everything in his life out, but according to at least one source with knowledge of the situation, “ASJ” hopes to return to football by July.
Losing Seferian-Jenkins leaves the Patriots once again particularly thin at tight end, a pickle they found themselves in when All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski decided to retire back in March and the team allowed secondary tight end Dwayne Allen to sign with the Miami Dolphins in free agency. Making matters worse for the team, presumptive starter Benjamin Watson is reportedly set to start off the year suspended as he serves a four-game sentence for a positive drug test.
Seferian-Jenkins’ release, coupled with Watson’s suspension, means the current depth chart at tight end reads with the following names: Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo, and Andrew Beck. Of that less-than-inspiring group, only LaCosse saw the field in regular season action last year, and even his production was limited: he finished with 24 receptions on 37 targets for 250 yards and just one touchdown across 15 games with the Denver Broncos.
Of course, the Patriots still have plenty of time to bring in another veteran replacement, either from another team, or from the scrap heap of leftover free agents who are still unsigned. The club could consider brining in Jermaine Gresham, A.J. Derby, or Michael Hoomanawanui, all three of whom have previous experience playing in New England’s offense, albeit for varying periods of time (and none of them for very long).