49ers deal tight end Asante Cleveland to Patriots for offensive lineman

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' impressive collection of tight ends has been reduced by one.

The team on Tuesday dealt Asante Cleveland, who played at Christian Brothers High School before the University of Miami, to the New England Patriots, a league source confirmed. In return the 49ers obtained offensive lineman Jordan Devey, who played both right and left guard for the Super Bowl champions last year. Devey appeared in seven games, starting four. ESPN first reported that he was heading to San Francisco.

The 49ers are trying to find a good combination at right guard and center. However, they also lack depth at tackle. Devey, 27, has experience there having played tackle and guard at the University of Memphis. He originally was signed by the Ravens in 2013 and spent time on the Patriots practice squad that season. He is listed at 6-6, 320 pounds.

The scouting service Pro Football Focus said Devey was responsible for one sack, three quarterback hits and nine hurries last season, and they gave him a rating on minus-19.

The 49ers signed Cleveland as an undrafted free agent last season. He spent the first half of 2014 on the practice squad before being added to the active roster when injuries to Vance McDonald and Derek Carrier created an opening. The Patriots were one of the teams interested in signing Cleveland after last year's draft.

The 49ers have an abundance of tight ends while other teams have seen injuries at the position. The 49ers have talked, for instance, with Washington where tight ends Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul sustained season-ending injuries.

San Francisco's top player at the position, Vernon Davis, was held out of Saturday's preseason game. McDonald and draft pick Blake Bell started the game with Garrett Celek -- who caught the team's only touchdown -- also entering in the first quarter. Carrier, Xavier Grimble and seventh-round draft pick Busta Anderson round out the position.

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