Patriots signed TE Rob Housler to a future contract. He is not eligible for the playoffs with those contract terms.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 19, 2017
The Patriots have made a signing for the 2017 season, as they’ve picked up former Cardinals TE Rob Housler on a reserve-future’s contract. The Patriots had brought Housler in for a workout on January 4th, and I’m assuming they liked what they saw.
Housler was one of the more athletic pass catching TEs in the 2011 class, picking up top finishes in the 40-yard dash (4.55), vertical (37”), short shuttle (4.21), long shuttle (11.69) and 3-cone (6.90). The Cardinals banked on that athleticism translating into their passing game and drafted him in the 3rd round. His athleticism plus big catching radius (34 1/2” arms) have not translated into production in the NFL (109 catches 1166 yards 1 TD) and has only appeared in 10 games since the start of the 2015 season.
I’m not sure what the Patriots scouting notes were on Housler, but he went 4 picks before the Patriots took RB Stevan Ridley. The Patriots are in the market for a 2nd TE to complement and/or replace All Pro Rob Gronkowski and could be looking for that guy in the draft should they not be able to re-sign Martellus Bennett.
The Patriots may see Housler as an athletic move TE that can at least perform as a camp body. Housler is not a good blocker, which puts him in an uphill battle to make the 2017 roster unless he can separate himself as a receiver.