The Patriots have signed Housler to a reserve contract for 2017, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.
With Martellus Bennett, Matt Lengel and Michael Williams all slated to become free agents this offseason, Housler provides the Patriots' organization with some TE depth behind Rob Gronkowski in advance of the 2017 campaign.
Housler will have his contract terminated, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Housler appeared to be in line to be the backup to Zach Miller (concussion) as the team's receiving tight end, but his unimpressive preseason ended that opportunity for the veteran. He'll hope to find work as a depth option.
Housler failed to catch either of his two pass targets Thursday against the Browns.
With Zach Miller (concussion) and Tony Moeaki sitting this one out, Housler played as the Bears top receiving tight end. Other than a 51-yard reception earlier in the preseason, he was very quiet during his time on the field. He'll enter the season as third on the depth chart as the receiving tight end.
Housler caught his only pass target for 17 yards Saturday against the Chiefs.
Housler didn't see his target until the deep reserves were on the field in the fourth quarter. He currently appears to be behind Tony Moeaki for backup duties as the receiving duties behind starting tight end Zach Miller (concussion).
Housler caught one pass for 52 yards, and also caught a two-point conversion Thursday against the Patriots.
Housler was a spectator in the game until starter, Tony Moeaki, left the contest with a hamstring injury. His long reception came against the Patriots' deep reserves, and on the play, two defenders ran into each other, allowing him to turn a moderate gain into a big one. During the regular season, he'll need a Zach Miller injury to see much in the way of playing time, though it's unlikely he'll find himself heavily targeted on a regular basis under just about any circumstance.
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