Patriots trade for tight end Michael Roberts from Detroit
In an offseason of upheaval at the position, Lions general manager Bob Quinn put the finishing touches on his remodel of the tight end rotation Thursday by trading Michael Roberts to New England. According to Adam Schefter, Detroit will receive a seventh-round pick in 2020.
With the move, all four tight ends who made last year’s initial 53-man roster — Luke Willson, Levine Toiolo, Hakeem Valles and Roberts — are out of Detroit.
The Lions gave Jesse James a four-year contract worth $22.6 million to lure him away from Pittsburgh, then used the eighth overall pick to add T.J. Hockenson in the NFL draft, higher than anyone’s taken a tight end since 2006.
Roberts, a fourth-round selection by the Lions in 2017, struggled to establish a consistent role during his two-plus years with the team. After catching 16 touchdown passes his senior year at Toledo, the Lions focused on building up his blocking during his rookie year. He caught just four passes for 46 yards in 15 games and was suspended for the season finale after missing a team meeting.
Of course, the Patriots also are undergoing their own overhaul at the position. Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement after the Patriots won the Super Bowl and has given no indication he’s going to change his mind. The Patriots have brought in a slew of lesser-talented players at that spot but don’t appear to have any clear solutions.
The Lions and Patriots have struck several trades over the past few years, including sending linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jon Bostic to New England.