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Patriots boost tight end depth, acquire Saubert from Falcons

August 12, 2019
Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill (23) celebrates with tight end Eric Saubert (85) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill (23) celebrates with tight end Eric Saubert (85) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The New England Patriots have acquired tight end Eric Saubert from the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional draft pick.

Saubert, entering his third season, had five catches for 48 yards for the Falcons in 2018. He played in 16 games with one start. He had one catch for 7 yards in the Falcons’ first two preseason games. Saubert was a fifth-round draft pick from Drake in 2017.

The Patriots have questions at tight end following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. Veteran Ben Watson will be suspended for the first four games following a positive test for a banned substance.

Austin Hooper, a 2018 Pro Bowl pick, is Atlanta’s starting tight end. Luke Stocker and Logan Paulsen head the list of others competing at the position.

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