The Patriots have tendered an offer to restricted free agent tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, according to league sources, an indication that the club envisions him as being part of their plans in 2013.
The Patriots chose the original-round tender level on Hoomanawanui, which is $1.323 million. Hoomanawanui earned $540,000 last season, so this is a nice boost for him and reflects how favorably the club views him.
If a team attempts to sign Hoomanawanui to an offer sheet, which is unlikely in this case, the Patriots could match the offer. If the Patriots didn't match, they would receive a fifth-round draft choice as compensation.
Hoomanawanui provided depth behind starters Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in 2012, playing 22.8 percent of the offensive snaps in the regular season. He finished with five catches for 109 yards, and now joins a crowded depth chart in 2013.
Patriots tight end depth chart