Patriots’ whirlwind of tight-end moves continues with Eric Saubert trade

The Patriots’ search for Rob Gronkowski’s successor remains ongoing.

On Monday, New England acquired tight end Eric Saubert from the Falcons, according to NFL Network, in exchange for a seventh-round conditional pick.

A former Drake product, Saubert was selected in the fifth round, 174th overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played in all 16 games last season with five receptions and 48 yards.

In March, Gronkowski retired after nine NFL seasons. The Patriots signed four-year veteran Matt LaCosse the same month. They then actually traded away tight end Jared Hollister to the Seahawks in April.

New England continued to add to its roster in May with tight end Ben Watson, who came out of retirement, but is suspended for the first four regular season games for a failed drug test.

Then in July, they signed veteran Lance Kendricks, who spent the past two years in Green Bay. That came after rumblings they were interested in Vikings star Kyle Rudolph, who ultimately signed a long-term deal to stay in Minnesota. New England did pull off a trade for the Lions’ Michael Roberts, but that was voided after one day in June.

The scramble has left the Patriots with six tight ends currently on the roster, with Saubert soon to make it seven.

In the absence of Gronkowski, quarterback Tom Brady does have a trusty target in the form of wide receiver Julian Edelman.