Ever since Rob Gronkowski retired from the New England Patriots, the team has been in tight end purgatory.
The Patriots thought that Ben Watson could fill the hole last season, but that never happened. Before the season, Watson revealed that he was facing a four-game suspension for a failed drug test in March 2019. Watson claimed that he thought he was going to stay retired. He came back and played in 10 games, recording 17 receptions for 173 yards.
The overwhelming black mark on all of this is that the team could have had Jacob Hollister. Shortly before the suspension was announced for Watson, the team traded Hollister to the Seattle Seahawks.
“Patriots have agreed to a trade that sends third-year TE Jacob Hollister to the Seahawks, pending a physical, per @FieldYates and @MikeReiss,” via ESPN’s Adam Schefter in April 2019. “Patriots will receive a 2020 seventh-round pick in return.”
Hollister became a regular for the Seahawks last year. After starting tight end Will Dissly suffered a season-ending injury in Week 6, Hollister caught 41 passes for 349 yards in 11 regular season games. That’s a solid return for a seventh-rounder.
What did the Patriots do with their draft pick you ask? They shipped it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with Rob Gronkowski in exchange for a fourth-rounder. That would then package the fourth-rounder to the Las Vegas Raiders, and draft UCLA tight end Devon Asiaski in the third round and Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser in the fifth round.
The Patriots took another tight end in Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene in the later round. Who knows if either tight end will make an immediate impact?
As for Rohrwasser, he’s already a distraction on the team due to his controversial tattoo.
It probably would have been better to just have kept Hollister.