Lions Cardinals Football

The New England Patriots traded for Detroit Lions’ tight end Michael Roberts on Thursday, reportedly in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

PROVIDENCE — The Patriots are adding another tight end to the mix.

According to a source, the Patriots are acquiring Michael Roberts in a deal with the Detroit Lions for a late-round draft pick. ESPN reports the Lions are receiving a 2020 conditional seventh-rounder in the trade.

Roberts, 25, stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 265 pounds. In two seasons, he has 13 catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, he played in eight games, catching nine passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. His season ended early due to a shoulder injury. Roberts is considered a solid blocking tight end, who was a dangerous red zone threat in college.

At Toledo, Roberts caught 16 touchdown passes as a senior in 2016. That caught the attention of NFL scouts — including the Patriots, who showed interest in Roberts during the 2017 pre-draft process. Ultimately, the tight end was drafted in the fourth round by the Lions.

This offseason, the Patriots have revamped their tight end depth charts. After Rob Gronkowski retired in March, the Patriots have looked for help everywhere. The team signed Ben Watson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse in agency.

Seferian-Jenkins, however, was released last week as he steps away from football to focus on personal issues. It’s still possible he returns to play this season, but it’s unknown if he’ll get another chance with the Patriots.

Meanwhile, Watson is set to serve a four-game suspension after failing a drug test this offseason.

Now, Roberts will compete with LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck for a spot on the Patriots initial 53-man roster. During minicamp, LaCosse took the bulk of the first-team reps, but Watson and Anderson also saw time.

LaCosse probably still has the inside track to start the season as the Patriots top tight end as he has good size (6-foot-6) and showed decent athleticism on the field in minicamp.

Roberts, however, could certainly factor into this equation. If he can step up as a solid blocking tight end and red-zone target, he could be in store for an elevated role, especially with Watson suspended to start the season.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.