When Aaron Hernandez was released from the Patriots last summer after being charged with murder, a huge whole was left at the tight end position.
With the NFL trading deadline a month away, a replacement for Hernandez may be in St. Louis, the old stomping grounds of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Current Rams tight end Lance Kendricks could be that perfect fit to fill the vacant roll left by Hernandez, who caught a six yard touchdown during the Rams Thursday night loss to San Francisco.
McDaniels coached Kendricks in 2011 when McDaniels served as the Rams’ offensive coordinator prior to returning to New England after that season.
Since the Rams drafted the 6-foot-3, 241 pound Kendricks from Wisconsin in 2011, he has 81 receptions for 961 yards and five touchdowns. Kendrick has shown the quickness of Hernandez and is a decent blocker.
As a rookie, Kendricks played in McDaniels’ offense and has some knowledge in that offensive system. Kendricks played in 15 games in 2011 and had 352 receiving yards. Last season, Kendricks played in all 16 games with 519 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
With Kendrick a free agent after the season, he may just be the perfect player for the Patriots to acquire in a trade before the October 29th NFL trade deadline.
In four games this season, he has 11 catches for 90 yards. With Tom Brady throwing him the ball, who knows what Kendricks could be capable of in New England.
Bryan Souza is a new contributor to Patriots Insider. He has extensive scouting knowledge of several college and pro teams throughout the country.