The New England Patriots pulled off a big trade on Tuesday, sending pro-bowl offensive guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright a fourth-round draft pick in 2015.
Considering the uncertainty about Patriots superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski’s status for Week 1, many wondered whether the acquisition of Wright had anything to do with a fear on New England’s end about Gronk’s health.
Just wondering if the Pats trade for a TE tells us anything about Gronks availability for the first few weeks of the season…
— trey wingo (@wingoz) August 26, 2014
But, at least according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the move to get Wright is not related to Gronk’s health.
Oft-asked question: NE-TB trade has to mean Pats are worried about Gronk, no? Answer: No. Gronk in good spot. This provides depth, options.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 26, 2014
The Patriots have obviously shown a willingness to utilize two tight ends in the past (Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski were a dominant pairing), so perhaps New England wants to do the same going forward with Wright in the fold. And if Gronk does start the season injured or is healthy Week 1 and suffers a setback sometime in the regular season, Wright can immediately fill in as the starting tight end.
Although he’s no Gronk, Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns this past season with the Bucs and should serve as a solid option for Tom Brady.