Lewis tore his ACL in November, so he'll be 10 months removed from surgery in September. He's expected to play in Week 1 but may not be completely comfortable in his surgically repaired knee. In six healthy games, Lewis averaged 12.8 touches for 95 yards and 0.67 TD. On a per game basis, he was #10 in standard and #5 in PPR at the time of his injury. As for Gronkowski, the team is being very careful in the hopes that he'll stay healthy in 2016.
Chandler was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. He spent 2007 and 2008 with San Diego (though he was on IR for the '08 season) before landing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, spending two seasons bouncing back and forth between the practice squads and active rosters of the Cowboys and Giants before ultimately landing with the Buffalo Bills late in the 2010 season.
He wound up spending four more years with the Bills, ultimately catching 181 passes for 2,112 yards and 17 touchdowns during that stint. He then landed with the New England Patriots for the 2015 season, playing No. 2 to Rob Gronkowski for most of the year and filling in for Gronk as the No. 1 tight end when he missed time. He caught 23 passes for 259 yards and four scores.
Chandler wound up needing knee surgery at the end of the season, though, and according to this Twitter post from his wife, Alissa, that surgery may end his career.
The teams are finalizing a deal, but the Patriots will also receive a sixth-round draft choice in exchange for Bennett, according to sources.
The Patriots have traditionally preferred to run a multiple tight-end offense, which hit its peak in 2011 with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. In 2015, the club thought it had a strong 1-2 punch with Gronkowski and Scott Chandler, who was signed as a free agent, but Chandler didn't pan out after inking a two-year contract worth a maximum value of $5.3 million.
The Bears found a taker in the Patriots, who have been searching for an athletic tight end to fill the Aaron Hernandez role in the offense. Bennett will play second fiddle to Rob Gronkowski, and will likely trail Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis in targets. Bennett's departure opens the door for starter's snaps for Zachary Miller in Chicago. Miller could post TE1 numbers after coming on strong down the stretch last season.
The team announced the tight end inked a five-year contract extension on Monday, keeping him in Philadelphia through 2021.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the extension is worth $42.5 million, with $20 million in guarantees, which makes Ertz the fourth-highest paid tight end in average and guaranteed money, per a source. Jimmy Graham ($10 million), Julius Thomas ($9.2 million) and Rob Gronkowski ($9 million) are the top three in average per year.
Ertz finished as the #10 TE in standard scoring, but was #6 after his Week 8 bye, averaging 6.4 catches for 73 yards and 0.25 TD (on 8.8 targets per game) in his final eight games. On the season, he racked up 75 catches for 853 yards and two scores. Given his size and relative catch radius, his touchdown rate should increase eventually. Playing time was the issue in his first two NFL seasons, but he played 72% of the snaps in 2015 and 79% in his last five games.
Friday, January 22, 2016, 4:44pm
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee, back, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 20. Gronk caught two TDs last week and his availability for Sunday isn’t a concern.
Thursday, January 21, 2016, 5:50pm
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 5:55pm
Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:23pm
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee, back, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is questionable for Week 19. Gronkowski’s right knee is bothering him, but the return to Friday practice indicates that he’ll play against the Chiefs
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 6:07pm
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) missed practice Thursday after taking limited reps Wednesday. Gronkowski’s right knee is bothering him, and he received a pain injection on Thursday. He’s legitimately questionable, though we expect him to play.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 7:15pm
Friday, December 25, 2015, 10:17pm
Thursday, December 24, 2015, 6:12pm
Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 6:11pm
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
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