Falcons tight end Eric Saubert was traded to the Patriots in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick on Monday.
“We certainly wish him well,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He’s certainly regarded around here as a great teammate from me and from others. But at the end of it, we always know that it comes down to the battles at different roster spots, different places and this what this time of year is about.”
Saubert, who was selected in the fifth round (174th overall) of the 2017 draft out of Drake, played as a reserve over the past two seasons. He played in 30 games and made one start. He had five catches for 47 yards and averaged 9.7 yards per catch.
The Falcons have been impressed with the play of Jaeden Graham and are carrying four other tight ends on the roster in 2018 Pro Bowl alternate Austin Hooper, Luke Stocker, Logan Paulsen and Alex Gray.
“We certainly are defined at certain spots, but that’s not one of them,” Quinn said. “The 53 (man roster) in not set at tight end, the competition for us is ongoing. But we like the progress that we’ve seen from other guys.”
With the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots have a question mark at the tight end position. Veteran Ben Watson, who played at Georgia, has been suspended for the first four games following a positive test for a banned substance.
“He’s got a good opportunity with them,” Quinn said. “He certainly did a good job working for us here.”
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