UPDATE: Winslow's agent, Denise White, has now confirmed her client’s signing on Twitter.
ESPN.com reports that the Patriots have agreed to a one-year deal with the pass-catching tight end, likely in reaction to the reported low-ankle sprain that Aaron Hernandez suffered on Sunday against the Cardinals.
NFL Network analyst and FOB (friend of Bill Belichick) Michael Lombardi later tweeted that Winslow has a bad knee that's a "huge concern" and that the knee issue is the reason that he's not been in the league to this point this season after surprisingly being cut by the Seahawks at the end of camp.
A year ago in Tampa Bay, Winslow's numbers were in line with what Hernandez produced for the Patriots. The former first-round pick caught 75 passes for the Bucs last season, totaling 763 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite injury concerns with the knee, Winslow has played in all 16 games for his teams in five of the last six seasons, including last fall in Tampa. He's caught at least 66 passes in every season in which he's played those 16 games.
For his eight-year career the 6-4, 240-pound former Miami star has caught 437 passes for 4,836 yards and 23 TDs with an 11.1-yard average.
Assuming the reports are true, it will be interesting to see how quickly Winslow can get a grip on the Patriots offensive playbook and build a rapport with Tom Brady. Hernandez appeared poised to be the focal point of the passing attack this season and while Winslow won't be asked to replicate that role, he will likely be used as the guy opposite Rob Gronkowski in two-tight end sets, at least until Visanthe Shiancoe is ready to return from IR. The sooner Winslow's ready to fill the void, the sooner the Patriots can get back to some semblance of a full-power passing attack.
Do you like the Winslow signing? What would you expect him to bring to the offense? Let us know with a comment below!