FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 24: A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

After the 2022 NFL Draft and their signings to the UDFA, the Patriots still had three spots to fill before the start of spring training in late May. They filled one of those spots on Wednesday, claiming the tight end Matt Socol excluding Detroit Lions waivers.

Sokol was waived by the Lions on Tuesday in a roster change after the draft. The 26-year-old has spent time with three teams in six different spells during his career. He entered the league as an out-of-state Michigan UDFA with the Chargers in 2019 and spent his rookie season between their practice squad and the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. His 2020 season saw him spend time with the Lions and Chargers, before returning to Jacksonville in 2021. He then signed a term contract with Detroit in January.

In that time, Sokol appeared in two NFL games, both with the Chargers in 2020. He had 15 snaps on offense and 20 on special teams. He spent the first part of this season on the Lions practice squad, while the Patriots’ current senior football adviser was the head coach at Detroit.

Now in New England, Sokol will compete for a backup tight end role. 2021 free agent signings Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are likely on board as starters, with 2020 draft picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene the only other tight ends on the roster. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Sokol is the biggest tight end currently on the Patriots roster.

With Sokol signed, the Patriots now have 88 players on their roster. They have two more spots available on the roster. Last year, they continued to fill out the roster throughout spring training, so any further moves might not be imminent.

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