The New England Patriots have been active all offseason to further strengthen their Super Bowl winning roster. However, their last actual personnel move happened almost one week ago, when the team released backup tight end Michael Williams. Since then, the Patriots have had players in on visits but did not make any transactions – until yesterday evening.
As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss and later confirmed by the team, New England released another veteran tight end: Rob Housler. According to Reiss, Housler was let go with a failed physical designation after injuring his hamstring. He might, however, be an option to return to New England once fully healthy again.
The 29-year old originally joined the Patriots in January, when the team signed him to a one-year future’s contract. Housler originally entered the league as a third round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. He spent four years in Arizona, appearing in a combined 56 games and catching 105 passes for 1,133 yards and a touchdown.
As a free agent in 2015, Housler joined the Cleveland Browns, who waived him after just six games. He went on to join the Chicago Bears later that season and appeared in four more games; finishing the 2015 campaign with only four receptions for 33 yards. Since the Bears released him in August 2016, Housler was out of football.
In New England, he would have faced a four-man battle for the third tight end spot on the roster behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. While offering the least upside, Housler would have been the most experienced of a quartet that also included Matt Lengel and offseason acquisitions James O’Shaughnessy and Jacob Hollister.
However, as noted above, the veteran might re-join the roster and the fight for a backup role on the team. The starting position would probably still be the same for Housler, though: an uphill climb in front of him.