BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots have added another tight end to their mix, reportedly acquiring Michael Roberts from the Detroit Lions for a future late-round draft pick.
Justin Rogers of The Detroit News was first to report the news Thursday morning.
Roberts was a fourth-round pick by Detroit in 2017 after catching 16 touchdowns his senior year at Toledo. He played in 15 games as a rookie but was used primarily as a blocking tight end, catching just four passes for 46 yards. He ended his rookie season on a down note, suspended for the the final game of the year after missing a team meeting.
The 25-year-old played in just eight games last season before landing on IR with a shoulder injury in early December. He had nine catches for 100 yards, but three of those catches went for touchdowns.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Roberts now joins a tight end depth chart in New England that no longer includes All-Pro Rob Gronkowski. He should get plenty of opportunities in training camp with Ben Watson (who is suspended for the first four games of the regular season), Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck filling out the depth chart. He’s viewed as a solid blocker, so he may be able to fill the role that Dwayne Allen had the last two seasons in New England.
Roberts was expendable in Detroit after the Lions drafted T.J. Hockenson and Isaac Nauta in April and signed Jesse James and Logan Thomas earlier this offseason.