With eight of their players opting out of the 2020 season, the New England Patriots are looking for some veterans to plug the holes.
According to ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler, the Patriots are one of several teams expressing interest in free agent Delanie Walker. The former San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans tight end was released by the Titans in March.
From 2014 to 2017, Walker was one of the NFL’s elite tight ends. He recorded 296 receptions for 3,585 yards and 20 touchdowns while making three Pro Bowls during that span. Walker had his best season in 2015 when he recorded a career-high 94 receptions for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns.
Unfortunately, Walker’s last two NFL seasons have been severely hampered by injuries. He has missed 24 games over the past two years and finished both seasons on injured reserve.
At 35 years of age, Walker can’t have many NFL opportunities left.
Free agent TE Delanie Walker, 35, is training for the season and has received levels of interest from several teams, including the Patriots, per source. Had four straight 800-plus-yard seasons from 2014-17.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 3, 2020
As for the Patriots, the team is currently very thin at the tight ends position. Third-year tight end Ryan Izzo is the only Patriots tight end who isn’t a rookie. Matt LaCosse would have been the most experienced player on the roster, but he opted out of the season over the weekend.
If Walker does wind up signing in New England, he will probably be in contention for the starting job right out the gate.
Should the Patriots try and sign Delanie Walker, or is his injury history too worrying to handle?