According to the Detroit News, the Detroit Lions are trading former fourth-round pick Michael Roberts to the New England Patriots.
At the moment, the trade terms are not knows, but Justin Rogers is reporting it is a “future, late-round draft pick” the Lions will be receiving in return.
UPDATE: The pick is a conditional seventh-rounder in next year’s draft.
The move doesn’t come as all that much of a surprise. Roberts was ineffective in his first two years in the league with Detroit, and the Lions went out and invested heavily in the tight end position this offseason, spending a first-round pick on T.J. Hockenson and grabbing the best player available in free agency in Jesse James.
Roberts finishes his Lions career with just 13 catches for 46 yards and three touchdowns.
He’ll head to a Patriots team in dire need of a tight end. Rob Gronkowski retired this offseason, and New England has struggled to find a tight end to replace him.
The trade appears to be a vote of confidence from the Detroit Lions coaching staff in converted quarterback Logan Thomas. Thomas had been taking reps ahead of Roberts at the tight end position during most of Organized Team Activities, and now he appears to be the favorite to land that TE3 position.