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Offseason Position Spotlight: TE

Inspecting the current state of the Patriots roster, with an eye toward the upcoming free agent signing period.


Patriots TE Roster*: Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tim Wright

After a slow start to 2014, Gronkowski finally found his old form (i.e., he got healthy) and dominated opposing defenses as he'd done in previous seasons. Gronk led all Patriots pass catchers with 1124 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors along the way. His ability to play healthy the entire season was a main reason why New England was able to win the Super Bowl again.

A pleasant surprise was Wright, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in the Logan Mankins trade. Wright caught on quickly and contributed sporadically throughout the year, with six of his 26 receptions going for scores.

"Hooman" was less a factor in the passing game as in the running game, where he often provided key blocks and just "did his job."

Potential Free Agents: Owen Daniels, Ed Dickson, Tony Moeaki

Jordan Cameron, Jermaine Gresham, and Julius Thomas are clearly the cream of this year's free agent tight end crop, meaning they'll likely be looking to cash in, and that's probably not going to happen here in Foxborough.

A more likely option – if New England even wants to add a veteran to this position group – is Daniels. He was a very productive Texan for several years before spending last season in Baltimore, where he put up decent numbers as a starter in 13 games. Dickson is another possibility as well, as more of a complementary component to Gronkowski.

Moeaki is intriguing because here's a player who was quite involved in the Chiefs' offense in his first two seasons, but has been plagued by injuries in his career. There's talent there, and the Patriots often like to pick players like him off the scrap heap. He had a forgettable campaign with Seattle last year.

Bottom Line Here: New England appears happy with its current tight ends. I therefore don't expect them to be too active in pursuing veteran free agents this offseason.

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