When the New England Patriots acquired wide receiver Mohamed Sanu via trade from the Atlanta Falcons yesterday they had to make a follow-up transaction to fit him on their full 53-man roster. Today, such a move was officially announced by the team: in order to add Sanu, tight end Eric Tomlinson was released — just eight days after the team signed him as a free agent in the first place.
Tomlinson was added last week alongside fellow tight end Benjamin Watson, to give the team options at tight end with both Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse dealing with injuries. The 27-year-old was subsequently made active for New England’s 33-0 win over the New York Jets on Monday night, and played 38 of a possible 82 offensive snaps as a blocking tight end/fullback hybrid — sharing the latter role with linebacker Elandon Roberts and offensive lineman James Ferentz.
The writing for Tomlinson’s release was therefore on the wall as soon as news of the Sanu trade broke: while he was serviceable, it was clear he was the fourth option at the position depth chart. Today’s move can furthermore be seen as a positive sign for Izzo, who missed the game in New York because of a concussion, as well as the long-term outlook for LaCosse. The former will likely return soon, while the latter was spared a trip to injured reserve.
The Patriots also announced a series of other transactions today. Yesterday’s moves — signing special teamer Justin Bethel and releasing Jordan Richards — were made official as was the addition of offensive lineman Aaron Monteiro to fill the team’s vacant practice squad spot.