The New England Patriots’ list of unrestricted free agents saw only minimal changes over the last few weeks. On Tuesday, however, another name was crossed off the list: tight end Troy Fumagalli signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Fumagalli, 27, originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2018. After spending time with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, the joined the Patriots as a free agent last offseason.
Fumagalli appeared in one preseason game for the team but was released during the second wave of roster cutdowns in mid-August. Since he was waived with an injury designation and went through the waiver wire unclaimed, Fumagalli reverted to New England’s IR. He spent the remainder of the 2021 season on the reserve list.
In total, Fumagalli has 19 games on his pro-level résumé as well as 14 receptions for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns. All of his production stems from his time in Denver.
With him now off to San Francisco, only two of New England’s original 18 free agents remain unaccounted for two months into the new league year: linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins.
Hightower, 32, is one of the best linebackers in Patriots history and was a cornerstone of the club’s Dynasty 2.0. Despite his status as a three-time world champion and long-time team captain, however, his free agency experience has been a quiet one. That said, a reunion is still a possibility in case he decides to extend his career into what would be an 11th NFL season.
Collins, 32, is coming off his third stint with the Patriots. As opposed to his first two, however, he served primarily as a role player in 2021. Like Hightower, he would project as a low risk depth signing at this point in his career and the team’s roster construction process.
At the moment, the Patriots have five open spots on their 90-man offseason roster.