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Focusing closer on TE move

The Patriots announced the signing of rookie free agent tight end Nick Melillo on Tuesday, which is a minor move when viewed through a narrow lens.

But the addition of Melillo does highlight how Bill Belichick is managing the roster at tight end, with Rob Gronkowski still rehabbing from left ankle surgery and free-agent pickup Daniel Fells sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

That has left third-year veteran Aaron Hernandez and rookie free agent Brad Herman as the lone pure tight ends on the field during organized team activities. Defensive lineman Alex Silvestro was taking reps at tight end last week.

The addition of Melillo seemingly hints that Gronkowski and Fells need more time. A cause for concern at this point? Probably not, but to get through the next two weeks of organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, reinforcements are needed.

The same is true along the offensive line, where the team finalized the Jamey Richard signing Tuesday, and added tackle Jon Opperud on May 18.

While offseason work can be beneficial, managing injured players so they are ready to go when it counts trumps all.

EXTRA POINT: The Patriots also announced the previously reported signing of rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.