BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots traded away arguably their best offensive lineman in Logan Mankins on Tuesday, getting a little-known tight end and a fourth round pick in return.
In exchange for the five-time All Pro and six-time Pro Bowl guard, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent Tim Wright to New England — a second-year wide receiver-turned tight end who will give the Patriots some depth behind the recovering Rob Gronkowski. Wright is expected to be more of a “move” tight end for the Pats, similar to the way Aaron Hernandez was used in his three seasons with the team.
New England fans don’t know too much about Wright, given the fact he played for the 4-12 Bucs last season. But he comes to New England with high praise from Darrelle Revis, who was a teammate of Wright’s last year.
“We’re getting a solid player who can catch and run. He can run great routes,” said Revis, noting that Wright also has a great work ethic. “He is a hard worker; he came from Rutgers so he has that instilled in him. He’s a playmaker, and him teaming up with our system and what we do on offense, I think he’ll fit in well.”
Here’s all you need to know about the 24-year-old Wright:
– Wright is listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.
– He grew up in Neptune, New Jersey and played high school football at Wall High School, where he played wide receiver, running back and defensive back. Wright also returned kicks on special teams.
– Wright went to college at Rutgers, catching 50 passes for 596 yards and four touchdowns in his two seasons. He played wide receiver and served as a team captain for the Scarlett Knights.
– He is now the fifth player on the New England roster who played at Rutgers, joining defensive backs Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan, safety Devin McCourty and linebacker Steve Beauharnais.
– Wright signed with the Buccaneers after going undrafted in last year’s NFL Draft. He began the season as a wide receiver, but made the switch to tight end in training camp. That prompted him to change his jersey number from No.18 to No .81.
– He appeared in all 16 games for Tampa Bay last season and made eight starts, hauling in 54 receptions for 571 yards and five touchdowns. He caught one pass for six yards against the Patriots in Week 3.
– Wright caught three touchdowns over the final four weeks of the 2013 season. New Orleans Saints All-Pro Jimmy Graham was the only tight end in the NFL who caught more touchdowns (four touchdowns) than Wright over that span. In those final four games of the season, Wright caught 18 passes for 188 yards.
– He is one of just eight tight ends to have 50+ receptions in their rookie season, joining a list that includes Mike Ditka (56 receptions, 12 TDs for Chicago in 1961), Jeremy Shockey (74 receptions for NY Giants in 2002), John Carlson (55 reception for Seattle in 2008) and Keith Jackson (81 receptions, six touchdowns for Philadelphia in 1988).
– If there’s anyone on the Patriots who needs a haircut, Wright is the man to see. He began trimming the hair of neighborhood friends when he was just 12 years old, and was the unofficial barber in the Rutgers locker room. For his final season in school, head coach Kyle Flood installed a barber chair for Wright to attend to the many teammates and members of the coaching staff who wanted their weekly cut.
“He’s good,” Pats’ defensive back Duron Harmon, a former Rutgers teammate and “client” of Wright, said in the New England locker room on Tuesday. “He kept me fresh in college.”
Anthony Becht On Gresh & Zo Talks Tim Wright:
Anthony Becht, a 12-year NFL veteran who made his second stop in Tampa, is now doing radio and serves as a co-host on the Buccaneers pregame and postgame shows.
He came on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak show Wednesday afternoon to tell us more about Tim Wright and the reaction down in Tampa of getting Logan Mankins.