The New England Patriots’ tight end picture got even murkier Tuesday.
The Patriots released veteran tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Day 1 of mandatory minicamp, according to reports from ESPN’s Field Yates and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Per Rapoport’s source, Seferian-Jenkins plans to spend one month away from football to deal with personal issues and potentially could return to the team afterward.
Seferian-Jenkins did not participate in Tuesday’s minicamp practice or the team’s open organized team activities session May 23. Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald last month reported the 26-year-old had been excused from Week 1 of OTAs for personal reasons.
This move leaves the Patriots with five tight ends on their 90-man roster: Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and undrafted rookie Andrew Beck. Watson, who returned to New England this spring after a decade in Cleveland, Baltimore and New Orleans, is suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season after failing a PED test.
Regardless of which of those players wind up cracking the 53-man roster, New England’s tight end group will look radically different this season. The top three players on their 2018 depth chart were Rob Gronkowski (retired), Dwayne Allen (cut) and Jacob Hollister (traded), all of whom no longer are with the team.
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images