Former Stony Brook Football tight end Will Tye reportedly joined the New England Patriots practice squad on Thursday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, who tweeted that Tye was spotted at the Patriots facility alongside former Houston Texans tight end Evan Baylis.
Patriots had a couple of free-agent TEs – Will Tye and Evan Baylis – in to the facility today. Always keeping personnel wheels spinning.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 11, 2017
While being a member of the practice squad does not give Tye a spot on the team’s 53-man roster, it does mark the third NFL jersey that the former Seawolf has worn this season. He joins New England’s practice squad one week after being cut by the New York Jets and New York Giants prior to the season.
As a member of the practice squad he is still technically a free agent, but the New England Patriots will have a front row seat to view him during practices. New England may end up finding a reason to sign Tye onto the team’s roster should their oft-injured star tight end Rob Gronkowski miss time this season.
The move comes just days from Gronkowski missing the Patriots Week 5 match-up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had suffered a thigh contusion in practice prior to the the game and has been limited in practice all week because of the injury. It is uncertain if he will play this weekend against the New York Jets, Tye’s old team.
However, Tye was signed to the practice squad because the team does have other depth at the position. Veteran tight end Dwayne Allen is likely next in line to start should Gronkowski miss time, but he has not completed a single catch in six of his targets this season. They could also choose to roll with rookie tight end Jacob Hollister, a former Wyoming Cowboy who is in line to start. He had just two receptions for a total of 24 receiving yards in his NFL debut against the Bucs last week.
Even so, the Patriots backup tight ends have accumulated just 24 receiving yards this season. Signing Will Tye to the team’s practice squad provides depth and an extended look at an experienced tight end.
Will Tye has tallied just four catches for 38 receiving yards with the Jets. However, he does have 18 career starts and 897 receiving yards.
The New England Patriots were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.