The Patriots will host free agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on Thursday, according to a report from Steve Wyche of NFL.com.
Shiancoe, 32, is a veteran of nine seasons, having spent the previous five with the Vikings. He was originally a third-round draft choice of the Giants in 2003.
The Patriots dealt with a number of injury-related issues at the position this offseason, including starter Rob Gronkowski’s recovery from ankle surgery. Additionally, veteran free agent addition Daniel Fells was not spotted on the field for OTA’s/mini-camp, and undrafted free agent Brad Herman was lost for the season with a torn Achilles.
Veteran Bo Scaife was signed earlier this offseason, but released shortly thereafter.
Shiancoe, who finished with 36 catches for 409 yards and three scores in 2011, reportedly turned down a contract offer from the Seahawks earlier this offseason.
Given that he has not been able to land with a team since, it would appear that Shiancoe could be signed for a reasonable price tag.
The team has six tight ends (including defensive end Alex Silvestro, who donned the offensive colors this offseason) on the active roster, but given the health of Gronkowski, Fells, and Jake Ballard (who was claimed via waivers but is recovering from a major knee injury), the Patriots may be looking to add veteran depth with training camp just eight days away.