New England added tight end Michael Roberts in a trade with the Detroit Lions, agreed to on Thursday.
According to multiple reports, the Lions are owed a seventh-round pick in return.
The Patriots are shuffling into life after Rob Gronkowski at tight end with significant uncertainty. Roberts, entering his third season, was a fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017.
Matt LaCosse, who caught one touchdown in 15 games for the Denver Broncos last season, lined up with the first-team offense at mandatory mincamp for the Patriots this week. With Gronkowski retired, New England is counting on 38-year-old Benjamin Watson to hold off Father Time another year. But Watson, who was lured out of retirement, is suspended the first four games of the 2019 season.
Detroit drafted T.J. Hockenson in the first round, spent a seventh-round pick on Isaac Nauta and signed free agent Jesse James to fill out the tight end depth chart.
Gronkowski, 30, retired in March, taking his 79 career TD receptions and one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets out of the offensive gameplan.