BOSTON (CBS) — Over the weekend, the Patriots lost one of their only experienced NFL tight ends, when Matt LaCosse elected to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to concerns about COVID-19.
The Patriots are likely to now look elsewhere for a veteran tight end, and according to one report, Delanie Walker may be the target.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Monday that the Patriots are one of “several teams” interested in the services of the free agent.
Free agent TE Delanie Walker, 35, is training for the season and has received levels of interest from several teams, including the Patriots, per source. Had four straight 800-plus-yard seasons from 2014-17.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 3, 2020
Walker, who will turn 36 years old this month, played in just seven games last season, one year after being limited to a single game. A broken ankle cost him the bulk of the 2018 season, while an ankle injury again cost him significant time in 2019.
In his last full season — in 2017 — Walker caught 74 passes for 807 yards with three touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in three straight years, from 2015 through 2017.
Walker spent the last seven seasons with the Titans, after spending the first seven years of his career with the 49ers.
In addition to losing LaCosse to the opt-out, the Patriots also lost tight end Ben Watson to retirement during the offseason. The Patriots currently have rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene at the tight end position, as well as Ryan Izzo.