The Patriots have started the process of rebuilding their tight end position.
Tennessee would’ve liked to have kept the 32-year-old Crumpler, because — even with his once-prominent ability in the passing game declining — he played such a major part in the Titans’ vaunted running game, and the 2,000-yard season of Chris Johnson. And the Titans made a solid push, even with a logjam at the position.
Starter Bo Scaife signed his one-year, $4.908 million tender this week, and the club spent third-round picks on the position in the last two drafts, taking Craig Stevens in 2008 and Jared Cook in 2009.
Crumpler likely comes to New England to primarily fill the in-line blocking role, with a receiving threat still needed at the position. That could be filled in the draft, or with a pass-catching threat like Chicago’s Greg Olsen via trade.