7 Patriots players fighting for their jobs after minicamp

New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Austin Hooper

The Patriots have had difficulty finding quality tight ends since the departure of Rob Gronkowski and continue to deal with completing that task this offseason.

They made the right decision in re-signing Hunter Henry, who was set to hit the free agent market, as he has been the team's most productive tight end over the last three years. The problem has been adding a solid number two to play alongside Henry, which they hope to have in Austin Hooper.

His connection to new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is why he was signed in free agency, but he's also racked up some impressive seasons throughout his eight-year career, mainly his time with the Falcons.

Hooper is expected to be a better fit on the roster than Mike Gesicki was last season. Since he seemed to get back on track under Van Pelt's guidance, it seemed like he could be the right guy for the job. The problem is that the Patriots drafted an explosive tight end earlier this year who has outshone all others so far this offseason.

Jaheim Bell is an exciting player with low expectations given when he was drafted. However, some labeled him a steal of the draft since he was projected to go much higher than the seventh round when the Patriots snagged him.

If he continues to impress once the team returns to Foxboro for training camp, Hooper will have an even more difficult time securing a spot on the roster.

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