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The Patriots reportedly came *this* close to signing Thaddeus Moss as an undrafted rookie free agent

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Related: Patriots make 15 of 16 reported undrafted rookie signings official

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The New England Patriots were among the busiest teams in the league on the third day of the NFL draft. Not only did they select five players between rounds four and seven, they also quickly jumped into the undrafted pool to come away with what later turned out to be 15 players. One of the biggest names available dis not end up in New England, though, despite an obvious connection through name and need: tight end Thaddeus Moss.

The son of former Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss did not hear his name called during the draft despite being one of the better blocking tight ends available. His limited upside as a receiver in combination with his injury history, however, were likely among the reasons why teams kept passing on the 21-year-old until the Washington Redskins picked him up as a rookie free agent shortly after the conclusion of the draft.

As was revealed on Wednesday, though, Washington was not the only team expressing interest in the LSU product: Moss confirmed during a media session that two other teams also gave him a call, as John Keim of ESPN reported. The Cincinnati Bengals were one of those two clubs, New England was the other. The youngster, however, went with the team that called him first and decided to join the Redskins over the Patriots and Bengals.

Despite his physical limitations, Moss could have been an intriguing addition to New England’s offense beyond his famous last name. Adding him and his advanced blocking technique to the equation could have challenged the depth of the team’s current tight end group beyond roster locks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, both of which were drafted in the third round by the team. A Patriots-Moss union was not meant to be, though.

Consequently, the Patriots will head into their preparation for the 2020 season with six tight ends on the roster: third-round selections Asiasi and Keene are locks to make the team, as mentioned above, while veterans Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo will fight for the depth spots alongside them against undrafted rookie additions Jake Burt and Rashod Berry. Realistically, no more than two players will join Asiasi and Keene on New England’s 53-man squad.

Moss, had he been signed by New England rather than Washington, would obviously not have been a lock to make the roster any more than fellow undrafted rookie tight ends Burt or Berry are at the moment. That said, his last name in combination with the popularity his father still enjoys among Patriots fans would at the very least have made for a fun storyline during training camp and the preseason.