The New England Patriots cleared out some space in their newly crowded tight end room Thursday.
After agreeing to terms with top free agents Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry earlier this week, the Patriots reached an agreement to trade tight end Ryan Izzo to the Houston Texans for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick, according to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
Izzo, a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2018, was New England’s No. 1 tight end by default last season, playing 626 offensive snaps over 12 games while rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene struggled to acclimate to the NFL game. The Florida State product finished with 13 catches on 20 targets for 199 yards (50 of which came on a Hail Mary that failed to reach the end zone) and ended the season on injured reserve.
Izzo’s departure leaves the Patriots with five tight ends on their roster: Smith, Henry, Asiasi, Keene and Matt LaCosse, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Asiasi and Keene — both selected in the third round of last year’s draft — combined for five catches on 12 targets for 55 yards and one touchdown as rookies.
The Patriots have ranked last in the NFL in receptions by tight ends in each of the last two seasons.
This is the second trade the Patriots and Texans have executed since former New England personnel executive Nick Caserio took over as Houston’s general manager earlier this offseason. The Patriots also dealt offensive tackle Marcus Cannon to Caserio’s new club over the weekend for a swap of Day 3 draft picks.