Follow-up thoughts on Patriots' trade for Asante Cleveland

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few follow-up thoughts on Tuesday's trade in which the New England Patriots acquired tight end Asante Cleveland in exchange for guard/tackle Jordan Devey:

1. With Scott Chandler still not 100 percent ready for action, converted defensive end Jake Bequette sidelined with injury, and No. 1 man Rob Gronkowski potentially being held out of preseason action as a precaution, the Patriots obviously felt they needed another experienced player who could boost their tight end depth and help them get through the preseason. Cleveland, with six career games played as a rookie in 2014, becomes the second most experienced/healthy tight end on the roster, behind Michael Hoomanawanui. The other tight ends are undrafted rookies Logan Stokes (LSU) and Jimmay Mundine (Kansas).

2. Chandler, the free-agent signing from Buffalo, was working on a second practice field this morning and doesn't seem too far from a return. So I don't think this move had much to do with him from a longer-range perspective as it is getting through the next two weeks.

3. Cleveland has practice squad eligibility, so even if he doesn't make the Patriots' 53-man roster (he's a longer shot right now), he could still be part of the 63-man snapshot in early September. We know how the Patriots like developing tight ends.

4. The 49ers entered training camp with nine tight ends and media observers in San Francisco questioned Cleveland's chances to make the final 53-man roster. So the 49ers had depth to spare, and if Devey makes their roster, they will have essentially traded a player who likely wasn't going to be part of their plans for one that could be.

5. Cleveland didn't register a stat in six games last season, with his primary contributions coming on special teams.

6. Devey was a bubble player on my first Patriots 53-man roster projection (he just missed the cut), and I wonder if the early play of undrafted rookie David Andrews gave the club more confidence in thinning depth by trading Devey.

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