The New England Patriots have added free agent Danny Vitale to the fullback room, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
NESN’s Meredith Gorman reported earlier Friday that the two sides were close to an agreement.
Vitale, 26, appeared in 20 games over the past two regular seasons with the Green Bay Packers. The 6-foot, 239-pound fullback entered the league as a sixth-round draft choice in 2016 out of Northwestern, where he played the hybrid role of superback en route to 1,456 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage.
Vitale met with the Patriots at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. There he benched 30 reps of 225 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and posted a three-cone time of 7.12 seconds to go with a 38.5-inch vertical.
Vitale began his rookie NFL season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad before signing to the Cleveland Browns’ 53-man roster. With Cleveland, Vitale checked into 24 games and made nine starts. He was released from the Browns’ injured reserve in the fall of 2018 prior to landing with Green Bay’s scout team.
In his career, Vitale stands with one carry for three yards and 15 catches for 145 yards.
New England’s fullback depth chart currently stands with three-time Super Bowl champion James Develin and International Pathway Program alum Jakob Johnson. Both of whom were placed on IR in 2019, however, with neck and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Their absences led to tight end Eric Tomlinson and linebacker Elandon Roberts, among others, taking snaps as a lead blocker over the course of the campaign.
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