Shalise Manza Young provides a status report on the Patriots’ offensive position groups heading into the start of training camp on July 26.
Position: Tight end
Current number of players: Five
Four-year average at cut to 53: 2.75
Last season at 53: 2
Locks (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells
Battling (1): Tyler Urban
Injured reserve/physically unable to perform (1): Jake Ballard
On the team: Gronkowski, Hernandez, Fells
Parting thought: This might be the easiest position on the team to predict. Gronkowski and Hernandez are arguably the best tight end duo in the league, and while Fells’ three-year contract didn’t exactly break the bank, it shows the team wants to have him around. Claimed off waivers from the Giants, Ballard may not play this season – he’s coming back from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl. Urban, an undrafted rookie, is a project and could land on practice squad.