97 days from today the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers will open their 2019 regular seasons against each other in Foxboro and right now it’s tough to tell who will open that contest as the starter for the former.
After already losing tight end Ben Watson for the start of the 2019 regular season a few weeks ago due to a four-game suspension for violating the league’s banned substance policy, the Patriots are reportedly releasing another experienced tight end of theirs, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, on Tuesday.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network on Tuesday, Seferian-Jenkins, who signed a one-year, $895,000 contract with the Patriots this past April, needs to step away for a month for personal issues and that resulted in New England deciding to part ways with him. Last season Seferian-Jenkins caught just 11 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown in the five games he played in with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His 2018 season was cut very short in early October due to a core muscle injury.
The Patriots Tuesday release of Seferian-Jenkins now leaves the team with tight ends Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck as current possible options to open the 2019 regular season as the team starter. However, it’s worth noting that there has been some speculation that the Patriots might be interested in trading for Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph in the next few months. Rudolph is currently in the final year of his current contract and reportedly in negotiations with the Vikings on a contract extension.
The Patriots offseason losses at the tight end position began in late March when Rob Gronkowski announced he was retiring from the NFL.