- James Walker, ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter
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That is why it was good move for the reigning AFC champs to sign the best tight end on the market: Kellen Winslow Jr. A source tells the AFC East blog Tuesday morning that New England has agreed to a one-year contract with the former Pro Bowler.
Winslow brings many of the same skills the Patriots lost with injured tight end Aaron Hernandez, who will be out a few weeks with an ankle injury. Winslow is athletic with very good hands. He's averaged 73 receptions and 792.3 yards the past three seasons.
The Patriots did not want to shelve a large portion of their offensive playbook until Hernandez returned. Winslow can fill that void and allow quarterback Tom Brady to run the successful two-tight end sets that led New England to the Super Bowl last season. The Patriots' offense struggled without the formation on Sunday and didn't score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
New England has enough issues on its plate. The pass protection is inconsistent. Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker is mysteriously losing playing time and the team is .500 with a tough upcoming stretch against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos.
The addition of Winslow plugs a hole on offense and gives New England one less thing to worry about.
The New England Patriots were not going to stop using dual-tight end sets. They love the formation too much. In fact, the Patriots looked lost without it Sunday in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.