September 17, 2021

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What to expect from new TE signing following Dan…

3 min read
What to expect from new TE signing following Dan...

For any Patriots fans clamoring for an update on the Julio Jones trade rumors, have patience and take solace in the fact that New England is in the running for his services.

The Atlanta Falcons aren’t going to trade Jones until after June 1, given that doing so would significantly reduce his cap hit for next season.

Until then, however, let’s turn our attention to another position on the offense, shall we?

After all, the Patriots just released fullback Dany Vitale, who opted out of last season and appeared set to return based on his presence at voluntary OTAs this week.

In a corresponding move, New England signed tight end Troy Fumagalli, who spent the last two seasons with the Broncos.

It goes without saying that Fumagalli isn’t a household name around the league, so what should fans expect from him (if anything) in 2021?

What should Patriots fans expect from new tight end Troy Fumagalli?

To put it kindly, we have no idea.

A fifth-round pick out of Wisconsin back in 2018, Fumagalli split time between the Texans’ practice squad and the Broncos’ bench last season. He joined Denver in November and managed eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown across eight games.

The former Badger missed the entirety of his rookie season due to injury, and he didn’t play much of a role as a sophomore in 2019, tallying six receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown over 11 appearances (157 offensive snaps) with the Broncos.

When you consider Fumagalli has struggled to make an impact as a pass catcher over his first three seasons, you’d be hard-pressed to think he’ll burst onto the scene in that regard with the Patriots, who bolstered their TE room in free agency by signing Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

Throw in the fact that 2020 third-round picks Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi will be competing for snaps at OTAs and training camp, and we’re led to believe that Fumagalli and his 6-foot-6, 248-pound frame could serve as fullback depth behind fan favorite Jakob Johnson, who re-signed on a one-year deal earlier this offseason.

If we had to make a hard prediction on Fumagalli’s immediate future, we’d say he’ll be an extra body who will create even more competition (which Bill Belichick always welcomes) leading up to (and potentially into) training camp if he makes it beyond preseason roster cuts.

It’s worth noting that Keene was given reps at fullback last season, so maybe he gets more run there given New Engalnd doesn’t currently have a backup behind Johnson? That, in turn, could open up an opportunity for Fumagalli to battle Asiasi for the third tight end spot.

Whatever the case, these roster moves create yet another offseason storyline for Patriots fans, which is really all they could ask for at this stage of the game.

Patriots: What to expect from new TE signing following Dan Vitale move