Now the Patriots do have some depth at Tight End. They have former New York Giants Tight End Jake Ballard, Former Bronco Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui. These guys can step in for Gronk if he does miss some time due to injury, but neither of these players can replace Hernandez's role. Hernandez lined up at WR most of times, and none of those guys would be successful in that role.
There's some Free Agents available for the Patriots. Dallas Clark and Kevin Boss are two names that stick out, but neither would replace Hernandez on the roster. Also both at this point in their career won't be able to replace Hernandez's production.
Now to my point. Julius Thomas has impressed during OTA's. If he continues to impress during Camp could the Broncos decide to move one of their Tight Ends? My thinking is this. If the Patriots are looking for a move tight end, why not dangle Jacob Tamme to them? Tammes role has been diminished with the recent addition of Wes Welker this offseason, and with youngsters Virgil Green and Julius Thomas behind him, he could be expendable. I believe Joel Dreessen is too valuable to the Broncos as a blocker, so he wouldn't be an option.
Now there's a lot of "Ifs" here. If Thomas doesn't impress, Tamme doesn't go anywhere. Also have to keep camp/preseason injuries in mind. Also will the Patriots scrap their Two Tight End based offense now? The Patriots do have one of the best run blocking Offensive Lines in the game, and some solid runners. So they could implement a smash mouth offense.
What could we get back? I think we could obtain a mid round 2014 draft pick/conditional 2014 pick from the Patriots. Could also swap Tamme for a player who could start or add much needed depth at a position.
What do you guys think?