By: Ian Logue
Nate Byham rounds out a competitive group heading into the start of training camp this week. (USA TODAY Images)
Heading into training camp the Patriots have questions at the tight end position, but they added additional depth on Saturday after adding former Buccaneer Nate Byham.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston Byham agreed to terms on a contract with the team and pending a physical, he’ll fill the 90th spot on the roster after the Patriots also added receivers Derrick Johnson and Tyler McDonald on Friday.
Byham’s style of play has him as more of a blocking tight end, although that’s a label that he previously said he was trying to shed.
“That’s my strong suit,” Byham said via the San Francisco Chronicle back in 2012 when he was with the 49ers. “I wouldn’t say that’s all I am. I don’t want to be labeled just a blocker because I feel like I can do a lot more. But that is definitely my strong suit and I think I can fill that role in the offense as a blocking tight end.”
He’ll add to a competitive group behind Rob Gronkowksi and Michael Hoomanawanui that includes D.J. Williams, Justin Jones and Asa Watson. Byham had six receptions for 56 yards in two seasons in Tampa Bay along with a touchdown.
He was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round out of Pittbsurgh in 2010 and played in 14 games, finishing with 5 receptions for 27 yards. He tore his ACL just two days into the 2011 training camp with the 49ers and missed the season. He was waived on August 16, 2012 before later reaching an injury settlement with them.
His bad luck continued after calf and knee injuries ended his season just four games into 2013 in Tampa Bay and he was placed on injured reserve on October 1st. He became a free agent back on March 11th and also worked out for New Engalnd previously back on May 21.