The top tight end returning to the New England Patriots’ depth chart for 2020 won’t be.
Matt LaCosse has made the decision to opt out of the season, as ESPN’s Field Yates reported Sunday, becoming the eighth member of the roster to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Patriots would later make the move official.
The 27-year-old LaCosse started eight games for New England last campaign, catching 13 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown. He and his wife are expecting their first child in November, according to Mike Giardi of NFL Media.
Lacosse’s absence will leave the position in the hands of April draft picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, rookie free agents Jake Burt and Rashod Berry, along with former seventh-rounder Ryan Izzo out of Florida State.
LaCosse had signed a two-year pact carrying $500,000 guaranteed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent last spring. He was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1 million in 2020, which will now toll into 2021.
The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Illinois product has made additional stops with the New York Giants, New York Jets and Denver Broncos since entering the league undrafted in 2015.
Running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale, wide receiver Marqise Lee, offensive linemen Najee Toran and Marcus Cannon, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung have also opted out for New England.