The Patriots were reportedly rebuffed on a potential O.J. Howard trade

The Patriots continue to look for answers at the tight end position.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard runs a route in the second half of a game against the New Orleans Saints. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Since the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots have been searching for a new threat at the tight end position. 

A popular rumored target has been Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard, but Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer poured water on those rumors Monday morning. 

“Eight days until the trade deadline. New England already asked, and was told no on, Buccaneers tight end OJ Howard,” according to Breer. 

With Matt LaCosse going down injured in last week’s win against the New York Giants, the Patriots added tight ends Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson. 

While the Patriots may have struck out with Howard, Breer alludes that the Patriots may not be done looking for an answer at the tight end position. 

“I’d expect they’ll be turning over rocks this week at the position [tight end],” Breer writes. 

The former University of Alabama player hasn’t been very productive in the early portion of the season. Through six games, Howard has just 13 receptions for 176 yards and no touchdowns. Despite the poor receiving numbers, Howard has more catches and yards receiving than Patriots tight ends Ryan Izzo (six catches for 114 yards) and LaCosse (three catches for 55 yards) so far this season. 

The undefeated Patriots will head to MetLife Stadium Monday night to take on the 1-4 Jets.

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