Sunday, July 20, 2014

Patriots add depth at tight end with veteran Byham


The New England Patriots' newest tight end certainly won't challenge Rob Gronkowski for his job--assuming Gronkowski can actually stay healthy--but he will jockey for one of the final roster spots on the positional depth chart this summer.

New England announced Sunday the signing of veteran tight end Nate Byham, a 26-year-old, four-year veteran out of Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-4, 264-pounder originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers, and he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 after being released by San Francisco prior to the season.

In his four NFL campaigns, Byham has played 29 games with 11 starts, totaling 11 receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown. Last season in Tampa Bay, Byham was limited to four games and finished with three receptions for 38 yards.

Byham is a depth signing, but his blocking skills could help him earn a niche at one of the team's thinner positions. He'll battle veterans Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams, as well as undrafted rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson, in camp.

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