After the Patriots opted to not select a potential Rob Gronkowski replacement in the 2019 NFL Draft, it appears they have made a noteworthy investment in an undrafted tight end.
According to Ben Volin, former University of Texas tight end Andrew Beck has the highest guaranteed salary of all the Patriots' undrafted free agents with $115,000, while the next highest guarantees are safety Malik Grant and linebacker Terez Hall at $85,000.
Any rookie that makes the 53 man roster this fall will earn a $495k salary. But here is how much guaranteed money the Patriots gave each of their undrafted rookies regardless of whether they make the team. The guys at the top are good bets for the practice squad at minimum: pic.twitter.com/5OYzDGMtvC— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) May 4, 2019
Beck missed all of 2017 with a foot injury, but returned in 2018 to catch 28 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games for the Longhorns, earning himself a First-Team All-Big 12 selection. Texas primarily used Beck as a blocker, so not much should be expected out of him as a pass catcher.
No roster spots for tight ends have been set in stone yet. Following Gronkowski's retirement and the Patriots' trade of Jacob Hollister to Seattle, the tight end group consists of Austin Sefarian Jenkins, Beck, Ryan Izzo and Stephen Anderson.
Beck should have plenty of opportunities to earn a spot in training camp, and the amount of money the Patriots are investing in him as an UDFA should say something about their confidence in his ability to do so.
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