It took less than 48 hours for the New England Patriots to replace injured tight end Aaron Hernandez. According to sources, the Patriots have agreed to a one-year contract with former Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow.
Winslow’s agent tweeted congratulations to Winslow later Tuesday morning, although no official confirmation has come from the team.
The tweet from Denise White, CEO of EAG Sports Management, read: “Congrats to our client @KellenWinslowJr for signing with the Patriots!!!”
It is no surprise the Patriots had interest in Winslow. New England brought him in for a visit two weeks ago and kept Winslow on the team’s short list.
Hernandez suffered a right ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals and is expected to miss at least a month, sources told ESPN on Monday.
Winslow brings many of the same skills to the table. He’s an athletic tight end with good hands. This also allows New England to continue to run its vaunted two-tight end sets, with Winslow projected to team up with Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Winslow caught 75 passes for 763 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s averaged 73 receptions for 792.3 yards the past three seasons.
He was released by the Seahawks earlier this month. The team originally acquired him in a trade with Tampa Bay in May.
Winslow’s base salary of $3.3 million for the 2012 season would have been guaranteed if he had been on the roster for the season opener.