The New England Patriots are releasing tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as he is expected to take a step away from football for a month due to “personal issues,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Seferian-Jenkins signed a one-year, veteran-minimum contract with New England back in April, a deal that included a $50,000 signing bonus.
A second-round pick in 2014, Seferian-Jenkins spent the first two-plus years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then played 20 games with the New York Jets over two campaigns before spending last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Pro Football Focus @PFF
Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ best season came back in 2015 in Tampa Bay with an overall grade of 76.4 (11th among TEs) and receiving grade of 78.2 (12th). He generated a 120.3 passer rating when targeted that season. https://t.co/uGa5iFLAae
Last year, he recorded 11 catches for 90 yards and one touchdown in five games for the Jaguars.
The 6’5″, 262-pound tight end had long been expected to be a prolific playmaker in the passing game. However, injuries have taken their toll throughout his career. He has made double-digit appearances just once in his five-year career, suiting up 13 times for the Jets in 2017. He was suspended two games that season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, stemming from a September 2016 DUI arrest.
He missed the end of last season after being placed on injured reserve in October for core muscle surgery.
New England signed Seferian-Jenkins after five-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski announced in March he was retiring. The Patriots have since addedveteran Benjamin Watson, who has been suspended four games due to a failed drug test.
Rapoport did not rule out a reunion between Seferian-Jenkins and the Patriots down the road. For now, though, New England will move forward with a tight end room consisting of Watson along with Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson and Andrew Beck.