Patriots Reportedly Agree To Terms With Veteran Tight End During OTAs

Anthony Firkser spent last season with Atlanta


May 25, 2023

A veteran tight end who played his college ball at Harvard is headed back to New England.

The Patriots on Thursday agreed to terms with free agent Anthony Firkser, according to a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The 28-year-old Firkser played in 11 games for the Atlanta Falcons last season, catching nine passes on 13 targets for 100 yards. He spent the previous four seasons as a backup in Tennessee, appearing in 58 games for the Titans and tallying 106 receptions and five touchdowns.

Patriots fans might remember Firkser for his performance in Tennessee’s 2019 wild-card round win at Gillette Stadium. He caught a touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill and pulled down a key third-down conversion to help the Titans upset New England in what proved to be Tom Brady’s final game for the franchise.

Firkser will compete for a roster spot as the third tight end behind Hunter Henry and fellow offseason pickup Mike Gesicki, who signed with the team in March. Gesicki is more of a super-sized slot receiver than a traditional tight end, so the Patriots could use another body in that position group to handle standard blocking duties.

It’s worth noting that the 6-foot-2, 241-pound Firkser also has played more snaps in the slot than in-line in each of his five NFL seasons, per Pro Football Focus, so he might not be an ideal candidate to fill a blocking-first role. Returning practice squadders Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington and undrafted rookie Johnny Lumpkin round out the Patriots’ tight end room.

New England began organized team activities on Monday and was scheduled to hold its third OTAs practice on Thursday, but that was canceled as punishment for a reported offseason rules violation. The Patriots are scheduled to return to the practice field next Wednesday.

Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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