The New England Patriots have waived undrafted rookie tight ends Asa Watson and Justin Jones and running back Stephen Houston, according to a league source. In corresponding moves, the team has signed a trio of tight ends: veterans Ben Hartsock and Steve Maneri and 2014 undrafted free agent Terrence Miller.
Hartsock, 34, is a 10-year veteran who was originally selected in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Colts. His other NFL stops include the Jets, Titans, Falcons and most recently the Panthers. The 265-pounder is considered a capable blocking tight end. He worked out for the Patriots this offseason.
Maneri has previous experience with the Patriots, as he was with the team back in 2010. He has played both offensive tackle and tight end in the NFL. He was most recently with the Chicago Bears.
Miller, meanwhile, was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent following this year's draft. He is considered a very good athlete for the position at 6-foot-4 and close to 235 pounds. The Jets released him in June.
The three players waived were all considered longshots to make the team's 53-man roster. The signings reflect a more veteran approach to the tight end position, which has been an area of focus with Rob Gronkowski still working his way back from offseason ACL surgery and Michael Hoomanawanui dealing with an injury.