The New England Patriots have made a handful of roster transactions under the stewardship of Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick. The Patriots sent 6th round linebacker Matthew Wells to the Chicago Bears for offensive guard Ryan Groy. They sent offensive lineman Jorday Devey to the San Francisco 49ers for tight end Asante Cleveland. They sent a conditional 2018 7th round pick to the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Jalen Saunders.
They sent a 2017 7th round pick to the Detroit Lions for tight end Michael Williams.
At the end of the day, Williams is the only player to make the team, while Cleveland is considered a practice squad target. The Saints will not be receiving any draft picks for Saunders. Wells did not make the Bears. Devey will be the 49ers starting right guard, which says a lot about the current status of the 49ers.
Williams is an interesting prospect, mostly because of the tight end label the Patriots gave the 6'6, 305 lbs former Lions offensive tackle. Sure, Williams played tight end in college before converting to tackle, but he was moved to tackle for a reason.
The Patriots will likely use Williams as an extra blocker on running downs and goal line packages, and likely have one play where Williams will leak out into the flat as a receiver. Williams will allow the Patriots to use a extra lineman-sized blocker with the hassle of declaring an offensive lineman as an extra blocker.
Will Williams have an impact on the upcoming season? That remains to be seen. His preseason performances haven't stood out as either overly positive or negative. The bigger takeaway is how Bill Belichick navigated the offseason to evaluate four extra players at the added cost of just a 2017 7th round pick (that's two years away). Every little bit helps.