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Former Patriots third-round pick Dalton Keene clears waivers ahead of NFL’s 80-man roster deadline

New England waived tight end Dalton Keene on Sunday.

NFL: OCT 25 49ers at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former New England Patriots tight end Dalton Keene cleared waivers on Monday, according to the NFL transaction wire.

The No. 101 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft is now an unrestricted free agent after being among the organization’s moves ahead of the league’s next roster deadline.

Keene, 23, had been sidelined for New England’s preseason matchups with the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers. A salary-cap charge of $1.17 million was scheduled in the third year of his contract.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Virginia Tech product previously spent all of the 2021 regular season on injured reserve following knee surgery. He saw action in six games during his rookie campaign, which also included a stint on injured reserve, to record three receptions for 16 yards through 140 offensive snaps.

Active rosters around the NFL must reduce from 85 to 80 players by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. The 53-man cutdown will follow on Aug. 30 after preseason finales become final.

The Patriots carry five tight ends into joint practices with the Las Vegas Raiders at the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center. Led by starters Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, the depth chart also features veteran Matt Sokol, rookie Jalen Wydermyer and Devin Asiasi, who arrived out of UCLA 10 selections before Keene in the third round of the 2020 draft.