Patriots Urged to Sign $4 Million Tight End

Harrison Bryant

Getty Harrison Bryant could land with the Patriots after the Alex Van Pelt hire.

Many potential offensive personnel changes await the New England Patriots amid the recent hiring of offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

That could include Cleveland Browns tight end Harrison Bryant following Van Pelt to Foxborough as SB Nation Pats Pulpit writer Bern Buchmasser noted . Van Pelt worked with Harrison in Cleveland from 2020 to 2023.

“A fourth-round draft pick by the Browns in 2020, he appeared in 65 games the last four seasons and caught 89 passes for 791 yards and 10 touchdowns,” Buchmasser wrote. “His production is not necessarily eye-popping, but his experience with Van Pelt’s system in combination with positional versatility, relative youth [he will turn 26 in April], and a likely moderate asking price might make him an attractive target.”

“To be fair, though, almost every tight end should be for the Patriots at this point,” Buchmasser added. “They have only one tight end under contract for 2024, after all, and even that one — in-season pickup La’Michael Pettway — is far from a lock to make the team. Moves will happen, and adding Bryant as a rotational No. 2 might be one to consider.”

Patriots Could Easily Spend $12 Million on Re-Signing Tight Ends

If New England keeps the top three tight ends, it could cost the team up to $12 million or more despite the limited productivity in 2024.

Hunter Henry led Patriots tight ends in 2023 with 42 catches for 419 yards and six touchdowns. Henry will become a free agent, and that could cost the Patriots $7.5 million annually, based on Spotrac’s projection.

Mike Gesicki didn’t live up to his contract amid 29 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He had a one-year, $4.5 million contract in 2023 after he left the Miami Dolphins in free agency.

Pharoah Brown had one highlight touchdown in Week 3, but he was quite much of the year amid 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown. Brown only had a one-year, $1 million contract, but he could command more as Spotrac projects him for $2.6 million in 2024.

Play Calling Experience a Concern for Alex Van Pelt

While Van Pelt played in the NFL for a decade and has been on a  coaching staff for 17 years, he has limited play calling experience, which NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry noted as a concern. Van Pelt called plays for two games in 2020 due to head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s absence, but otherwise, Stefanski called the plays.

“The NFL has seen inexperienced offensive play-callers take on that role and see immediate success,” Perry wrote. “Bobby Slowik in Houston, Ben Johnson in Detroit and Miami’s Mike McDaniel — who never called a play before becoming head coach of the Dolphins — are examples of that phenomenon.”

“But as would be the case for any play-caller with a relative lack of experience, it’ll be worth paying attention to how the game-day operation functions with Van Pelt running the show in Foxboro,” Perry added. “Adrenaline and emotions need to be managed, information needs to be processed and adjustments need to be made in real time.”

“Van Pelt is thought to have an excellent feel for the game, but how he handles the play-calling part of his job — particularly with a young potentially taking on the starting role — will be a storyline we track throughout the 2024 season,” Perry concluded.

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