The tight end position in New England remains in flux as the team is preparing to release Austin Seferian-Jenkins while he steps away from the game for a month to deal with personal issues, according to multiple reports.
Seferian-Jenkins signed a one-year deal with the Patriots in April after a five-game stint in Jacksonville that ended when he aggravated a core injury and landed on injured reserve.
It’s unclear what personal issues Seferian-Jenkins is dealing with, but he admitted to seeking help for a drinking problem in 2017 — less than a year after a DUI arrest that resulted in him being cut by the Buccaneers.
Seferian-Jenkins told ESPN at the time he had stopped drinking.
“Even since I stopped drinking, it’s been a transformation,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “It really has changed my life. I just try to win one day at a time. … Knowing you need help and you don’t go get it, that’s the worst thing.”
Between injuries and disciplinary issues, Seferian-Jenkins played only 43 games in five seasons since being drafted in the second round by Tampa Bay in 2014. He has 116 career receptions for 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Now with Seferian-Jenkins off the depth chart, New England is left with Stephen Anderson (36 career receptions), Matt LaCosse (27), Ryan Izzo (0) and Andrew Beck (0) as options at tight end … a tough reminder of the stability it enjoyed at the position before Rob Gronkowski retired this offseason.
Benjamin Watson was signed out of retirement last month but will serve a four-game suspension to start the season after testing positive for PEDs.
New England has been linked to trade talks for Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who is entering the final year of his contract and has been adamant about not taking a pay cut to remain in Minnesota.