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Position Snapshot: Tight Ends

With some down time before training camp, we're inspecting the Patriots roster position by position. Today, an examination of tight ends.

LOCKS: Rob Gronkowski

BUBBLE: Dwayne Allen, Troy Niklas, Jacob Hollister

LONG SHOTS: Ryan Izzo, Will Tye, Shane Wimann

BREAKDOWN: Given the at-time bizarre nature of the offseason for Gronkowski, even the All-Pro's situation isn't quite clear. Assuming he isn't traded or retired, Gronk will be his normal dominant self as the focal point of the offense.

Allen had a solid spring after a difficult first season in New England. He might need to come down from his $5-plus million salary but he should remain as a backup. Hollister had a strong spring as well and was more impressive than Niklas at OTAs and mini-camp. Might only be room for one on the roster.

Izzo, a seventh-round pick, could be fighting with Tye and Wimann, an undrafted rookie out of Northern Illinois, for a job on the practice squad.

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