With tight end Aaron Hernandez now sidelined with an ankle injury, the Patriots have brought in another tight end to bolster the unit.
The team agreed to a deal with free agent Kellen Winslow, according to the CEO of his management company. “Congrats to our client @KellenWinslowJr for signing with the Patriots,” Denise White of EAG Sports Management tweeted. It confirmed multiple reports a deal was close.
Winslow visited New England in the preseason. There are concerns about his knees, which may have played a role in the Patriots waiting until now to sign him. Under league rules, veterans on the 53-man roster for Week 1 have their salary guaranteed for the year. By inking Winslow now, if he cannot play, he can be released at any time and the Patriots will only owe him for the time he was on the roster.
The Patriots have Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Daniel Fells already on the active roster at tight end.
Winslow played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last two seasons, and spent the summer with the Seahawks, but was released by Seattle eight days prior to the start of the 2012 season. He had 75 receptions for 763 yards in 2011, and played in 16 games. He played for the Cleveland Browns from 2004 to 2008, although he missed the entire 2005 season with a knee injury.