Patriots shuffle up tight end spot, add veteran Ben Hartsock
|08.10.14 at 12:05 pm ET|
The Patriots waived rookie tight ends Justin Jones and Asa Watson, as well as running back Stephen Houston. In their place, they added tight ends Ben Hartsock, Steve Maneri and Terrence Miller, according to multiple media reports.
The 34-year-old Hartsock is an 11-year veteran who is also more of a blocker than pass catcher, as he has amassed 31 catches over the course of his career. He’s played for the Colts (2004-06), Titans (2006-07), Falcons (2008), Jets (2009-10) and Panthers (2011-13). He was in Foxboro this spring for a workout.
As for Maneri, this would be his second stint with the Patriots — the former tackle spent the 2010 season on the New England roster. In four seasons in the NFL, he’s also played for the Chiefs and Bears — also known more as a blocker, the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder has caught six passes for 52 yards over the course of his NFL career.
Miller is a 6-foot-4, 234-pound rookie out of Arizona who was undrafted this past spring. In his career with the Wildcats, he had 95 catches for 1,117 yards and three receiving TDs.
As for the players who were released, Houston finished his college career at Indiana fourth on the school’s all-time list with 25 rushing touchdowns, sixth with 29 total touchdowns and ninth with 2,304 rushing yards. However, the 6-foot, 230-pounder was facing an uphill battle for playing time, as the New England depth chart at running back is already well established.
Jones was a three-year starter in college and finished his career with 52 receptions for 598 yards and 12 touchdowns. While the 6-foot-8, 277-pounder presented himself as a massive pass-catching presence, he never seemed to click with the offense. The same appeared to be true for Watson — the 6-foot-3, 237-pound brother of former Patriots tight end Ben Watson never seemed to catch on in roughly two weeks of camp. (As a collegian, Asa played in 36 games for North Carolina State and caught 29 passes for 351 yards with one touchdown.)
The news was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN.
For rmore Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.