Tight end Chris Baker, released by the Patriots just before the start of free agency, was signed by Seattle yesterday, in case you missed it. At $4.75 million over two years, Baker becomes the first free-agent to commit to the Seahawks, who have done a lot of flirting (including playing footsies with another couple of New England UFAs in Benjamin Watson and Leigh Bodden) on the market.
Earlier this week, Benjamin Watson, another former Patriots TE, inked a deal with the Cleveland Browns. While it appears that both Tight Ends are going to football teams in dire need of help, these deals leave the Patriots with absolutely zero experience in the Tight End position. We recently lost out in a signing attempt to the St. Louis Rams (what's with these cellar teams?) to sign Daniel Fells, meaning that even our attempts at obtaining tight end players have fallen through.
While it appears that we may have issue, keep in mind that we released Baker due to his single dimensional blocking skills (although I think it's partially the coaching staff's fault for not utilizing his receiving skills). The fact that we lost Watson and Fells means that we were outbid by teams with less playoff potential, which is okay in my opinion. We may not even have been in the running for Watson to begin with.
So where does this leave us? Tight End free. Keep hope, though! There is still the draft where I'm sure we will address the positional need, as well as the post-draft off-season. There are plenty of TEs on teams right now that won't make the final roster. Expect us to grab a couple as well.