On Thursday, the New England Patriots added to their new-look tight end depth chart: the reigning world champions acquired Michael Roberts from the Detroit Lions via trade; the Patriots sent a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft to the Lions in order to get the former fourth-round selection on board. Twenty-four hours after the move was made official, however, the transaction fell through.
As the Lions announced earlier today, Roberts reverted back to the team’s roster per the conditions of the trade: the 25-year-old, who ended the 2018 season on injured reserve after hurting his shoulder in December, failed his physical in New England, according to a report by the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. The Lions opted to part ways with Roberts nevertheless, and released him after his rights returned to Detroit.
With Roberts no longer in New England, the Patriots’ tight end depth chart now again looks as follows:
Watson, of course, will miss the first four games of the regular season because of a suspension. Don’t be surprised, therefore, if the Patriots stay active in pursuit of more depth at the tight end position.
The entire non-trade story surrounding Roberts is similar to the one including Bryan Stork back in 2016. The Patriots traded the offensive lineman to the Washington Redskins, but a failed physical led to Stork moving back to New England which in turn parted ways with him regardless.