More of a blocking tight end, the 6-foot-4, 264-pound Byham played the last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under coach Greg Schiano, who is a close friend of Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Byham totaled six receptions for 56 yards and one touchdown in 15 games with the Buccaneers.
Byham adds depth at tight end for the Patriots, where top player Rob Gronkowski is recovering from a torn ACL. Five-year veteran Michael Hoomanawanui is next on the depth chart, followed by D.J. Williams (fourth year) and undrafted rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson.
Like Gronkowski, Byham is recovering from a torn ACL after being placed on season-ending injured reserve last Oct. 1. He had worked out for the Patriots on May 21.
Byham, who played collegiately at Pittsburgh, entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.