Hoomanawanui return makes sense

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
11:50
AM ET
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui filled his role well for the Patriots in 2013, so it is no surprise the Patriots had interest in bringing him back in 2014.

ESPN Insider Field Yates confirmed earlier reports from Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports that Hoomanawanui is re-signing with the Patriots for two seasons.

Hoomanawanui played 57.6 percent of the offensive snaps in 2013, most among New England tight ends, as he emerged as the top replacement for Rob Gronkowski. With Gronkowski currently recovering from a torn ACL, and lingering questions over his durability after a string of injuries, Hoomanawanui is a dependable, team-first, lower-budget layer of insurance.

Hoomanawanui has said it himself -- he’s no Gronkowski. Few are.

While not as dynamic in the passing game in terms of creating separation and pure speed, Hoomanwanui does have solid hands and can make the tough catch (12 receptions in 2013). His greatest contributions last year, when he won a training camp competition against Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells, came as a blocker.

The Patriots now have Gronkowski, Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams under contract at the tight end position. The team likely isn’t done addressing the position.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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