Visanthe Shiancoe Reportedly Signs 1-Year Deal with Patriots

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 24, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 20: Visanthe Shiancoe #81 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a gain against the Oakland Raiders at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on November 20, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The New England Patriots added another big tight end on Tuesday by signing 10-year veteran Visanthe Shiancoe to a one-year deal.

Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole first reported the news:

Visanthe Shiancoe has signed a 1-year deal with New England

— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) July 24, 2012

Shiancoe, who is 6'4" and 240 pounds, provides another option for Tom Brady to look for behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Bill Belichick sure does love his tight ends in both the red zone and everywhere else, and now the ever-scheming coach has brought in another weapon.

The former third-round pick out of Morgan State began his career in 2003 with the New York Giants, but it was not the start he hoped for.

After spending four years at the Meadowlands—and accumulating only 35 receptions—Shiancoe joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2007. The England-born, 32-year-old met much more success with the Vikings, catching 208 passes in five seasons.

Last year was one of his least productive in Minnesota, but he was a reliable option nonetheless. Shiancoe caught 36 passes for 409 yards, and was the victim of an inexperienced quarterback and an overall poor team.

Shiancoe should have no problem adjusting to life with the Patriots, as he is used to being his quarterback's red-zone target. In 2009, with Brett Favre under center, Shiancoe caught 11 touchdown passes for Brad Childress, which helped his team garner a 12-4 record.

Gronkowski and Hernandez combined for 169 receptions, 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, so Shiancoe must be salivating at the thought of turning that duo into a trio.

Just when we thought that many teams in the NFL were shifting toward a two-tight end set, Belichick and the Patriots pull a fast one on us again and bring in a third viable alternative for Brady to look for.