Patriots Sign Former Bengals Converted TE

Getty Scotty Washington, New England Patriots

Wednesday was a busy one for the New England Patriots.

The team was involved in a flurry of moves, and one involved dropping a tight end from their practice squad and replacing him with another.

The Patriots released former Buffalo Bills TE Jalen Wydermyer and signed former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver turned tight end Scotty Washington, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

The Patriots seem to love these bigger wide receivers who can double as tight ends. It’s what Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were–in reverse. It’s what the Patriots tried to turn N’Keal Harry into before trading him to the Chicago Bears for a bag of old cleats (aka a seventh-round pick). It’s partially what Jonnu Smith is trying to be, and it’s how Lil’Jordan Humphrey is somehow out-repping Kendrick Bourne with this year’s team.

Washington is an interesting prospect. Coming out of Wake Forest, he’d played WR exclusively, but thanks to his 6-foot-4-inch frame and currently listed weight of 247 pounds, Washington looks like a potentially monstrous red zone threat and matchup problem.

He has yet to get an opportunity to show what he can do in a regular season game, but the 26-year-old Washington D.C. native has some intriguing upside if he can catch on quickly.

Scotty Washington’s Career at Wake Forest

Washington’s red zone prowess was displayed in his final year in college with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In eight games, Washington made 35 receptions for 607 yards and 7 TDs. As a sophomore, Washington had 45 catches for 711 yards and 3 TDs.

The Demon Deacons played bowl games in Washington’s four active years with the programs. However, the quarterback play was slightly inconsistent with John Wolford and Jamie Newman as the signal-callers.

Could Washington ultimately become the kind of late bloomer who makes a mark in the NFL bigger than the one he made in college? The Patriots hope so, and they could use some good fortune at the wide receiver and tight end positions.

Much has been written about the team’s failure to draft a quality wide receiver. The two tight ends the Patriots drafted in 2019 weren’t much better. Both Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene were released this off-season. Asiasi landed on the Bengals practice squad, while Keene ended up with the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.

The Patriots’ Busy Day of Transactions

In addition to the tight end swap, the Patriots lost veteran cornerback Terrence Mitchell when the Tennessee Titans signed the 30-year-old off New England’s practice squad.

During training camp, Mitchell looked like a lock to make the 53-man roster at one point. However, the health of Jonathon Jones and the emergence of Jack Jones as a cover guy, and Myles Bryant’s return skills helped to give them an edge over Mitchell.

New England had stashed him on the practice squad, but it only took two weeks for a CB-hungry squad to snatch Mitchell up.

The Patriots also brought back kicker Tristan Vizcaino to replace Mitchell on the practice squad, according to his management group, Black Label Sports.

Last but not least, the Patriots traded offensive tackle Justin Herron and a seventh-round pick in 2024 to the Las Vegas Raiders for a sixth-rounder in 2024.

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