The New England Patriots addressed their need for offensive line depth Sunday with a pair of trades. Might they turn their attention to a skill position next?
The Patriots have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to finalize their 53-man roster, and tight end could be a position of intrigue: Our Phil Perry only projects a pair of veterans -- Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki -- making the squad, with backups Anthony Firkser and Matt Sokol missing the cut.
Gesicki is still recovering from a shoulder injury, however, and is more of a receiving tight end than a blocker. To that end, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer believes New England may be in the market for another tight end this week.
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"I would keep an eye on the potential that they trade for a tight end. I think that's on their radar," Breer said on NBC Sports Boston's Sports Sunday.
Which tight ends might they pursue? Breer followed up with a subtle hint.
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"Look at teams that have had coaching changes in the last couple of years," Breer said. "There are a couple of names there."
A total 13 teams have hired new head coaches since 2022, so that's a pretty big group. But we can speculate about a few names that might make sense.
The Chicago Bears, for example, have both Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis backing up starter Cole Kmet. Tonyan caught a career-high 53 passes with the Green Bay Packers last season, while the 6-foot-6, 267-pound Lewis certainly could help in the blocking department.
The Carolina Panthers are another team to monitor, with Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas backing up Hayden Hurst. Tremble has a particularly interesting profile: Carolina's third-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2021 is a strong blocker who also hauled in 11 catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games last season.
The Patriots and Panthers have done business before -- notably in 2021 with the Stephon Gilmore trade -- so perhaps Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Matt Groh will give Carolina a call about Tremble or Thomas.
Breer also sees New England carrying six wide receivers on its roster (with rookies Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte both making the team) due to injury concerns with JuJu Smith-Schuster.
"The underrated story here: JuJu Smith Schuster's knee is a mess, and that thing could explode at any point," Breer added. "So, you almost have to keep an extra receiver because of that."
For more from Breer and the Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard on potential Patriots moves, check out the full Sports Sunday segment below.