Report: Visanthe Shiancoe Joins Patriots, Adds Tight End Depth Behind Rob Gronkowski

Report: Visanthe Shiancoe Joins Patriots, Adds Tight End Depth Behind Rob GronkowskiThe Patriots are getting set to kickoff training camp this week, and it looks like they'll have some added depth at the tight end position down at Gillette Stadium.

Visanthe Shiancoe signed a one-year deal to join the Patriots on Tuesday afternoon, according to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. The contract is reportedly worth up to $1.2 million with $400,000 in guaranteed money.

After drawing interest from both the Patriots and Eagles in recent weeks, Shiancoe ultimately decided on New England as his new home. The move comes less than a week after Shiancoe visited the Patriots, and his decision was likely in large part due to the winning tradition and chances at a repeat Super Bowl appearance.

The addition helps the Patriots add depth to their tight end position, something noticeably lacking with a hobbled Rob Gronkowski during New England's Super Bowl defeat in February. But Shiancoe also brings a veteran presence to the receiving corps, a role that the team hasn't had since Alge Crumpler left following the 2010 season.

Shiancoe, 32, may not bring the offensive explosion usually associated with the Patriots, thanks to monster numbers from Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but he can still contribute as a reliable pass catcher and talented run blocker.

His best offensive season came with the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, when Shiancoe caught 56 passes for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns. He posed a consistent threat in the middle of the field. And although his numbers dropped to just 36 catches with three touchdowns in 2011, he can still be a useful receiver.

Shiancoe's addition also likely means that the Patriots will enact more three tight end sets, mostly seen with offensive tackle Nate Solder last season. With Solder slated to take over the starting left tackle job and former Giants tight end Jake Ballard likely out for the season, Shiancoe was a quality option to fill the void.

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