What Austin Seferian-Jenkins signing means for Patriots as it relates to tight end position


On Wednesday, it was reported the Patriots have signed veteran tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise given what the Patriots have at tight end following Rob Gronkowski retiring and then Seferian-Jenkins being the best available player at the position. If he stays healthy, he could be a solid contributor to the Patriots offense, but that is a question mark considering he played only five games last season and has only reached double-digit games played once in his five-year NFL career.

The second-round pick out of Washington has always performed well against the Patriots, so the team knows first-hand what he can do when he's at his best.

So, what does this mean for New England moving forward?

No, Seferian-Jenkins is not a Rob Gronkowski replacement. Not even close. But, he does give the Patriots some stability at a position where it was desperately needed. Not only did the Patriots lose Gronkowski this offseason, they also lost Dwayne Allen. The 26-year-old is almost a lock to make the active roster and will have the ability to contribute so he can potentially cash in as a free agent next offseason. 

This also doesn't mean the organization is out of the market for a tight end high in the NFL draft. T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, Irv Smith Jr. and Jace Sternberger all are still in play for the Patriots early on. It actually makes even more sense, as now there's a veteran in place where a rookie could learn from and not be counted on being the No. 1 player at the position right away.

So, while Seferian-Jenkins is a solid add, it does not mean for even a second the team is satisfied with what it has at tight end and will likely be adding multiple additional players by the time training camp rolls around.