- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Patriots have agreed to a free-agent contract with tight end Alge Crumpler, according to reports in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. The Nashville City Paper had previously reported that an agreement was close.
ESPNBoston.com has not confirmed an agreement is completed.
On Thursday, the Globe quoted Crumpler's agent James "Butch" Williams as saying that negotiations between the sides were ongoing.
The 32-year-old Crumpler enters his 10th NFL season, having played for the Atlanta Falcons (2002-2007) and Tennessee Titans (2008-2009). At 6-foot-2, 262 pounds, he has been one of the league's more durable tight ends, missing only five regular-season games in his career.
Once of the NFL's upper-echelon combination tight ends as a factor as both a pass catcher and blocker, Crumpler has slowed down of late. While he was considered a key cog in the Titans' rushing attack as a blocker last season, he had 27 receptions and averaged a career low 8.2 yards per catch.
The Patriots have a major need at the position after surprisingly releasing veteran Chris Baker and then having Benjamin Watson sign a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Browns. Robbie Agnone and Rob Myers are the lone tight ends on the roster and neither has appeared in a regular-season NFL game.