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A closer look at the Patriots’ addition of free agent tight end Daniel Fells

03.19.12 at 12:26 pm ET

On the surface, the idea of the Patriots adding another tight end after the phenomenal seasons of both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez seems odd. But the Patriots have traditionally carried either at least two tight ends and a fullback on their roster or a third tight end who is primarily a blocker, and that will be the role that Daniel Fells will play in New England.

Fells, who reportedly reached an agreement with the Patriots (per the Boston Globe) is a 28-year-old undrafted free agent out of Cal-Davis. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder played five seasons in the league — three with St. Louis, one with Atlanta and one with Denver. Last season with the Broncos, he had 19 catches for 256 yards and three touchdowns, a year after a 41-catch effort with the Rams.

Don’t expect him to be catching many passes in New England, as he will be used as a blocker, which will likely create two shifts in personnel away from the 2011 team: one, this will serious cut into the playing time of fullback Lousaka Polite, and two, on several instances last season the Patriots utilized Nate Solder (or another tackle) as an extra tight end in heavy sets. Expect Fells to step into those roles going forward.

Read More: 2012 NFL Free Agency, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells, Lousaka Polite
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