The New England Patriots continue to be the most active team in the new league year as Bill Belichick looks to claw himself back to relevancy after an abysmal 2020 campaign. The latest move comes via a trade with the Texans that'll send tight end Ryan Izzo to Houston while the Patriots will receive a 2022 seventh-round pick as compensation, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Izzo's departure from Foxborough wasn't too difficult to foresee, especially after the Patriots busted into free agency and signed the top two players available at the tight end position in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. With those two now in the mix and New England investing two third-round picks in tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene last offseason, Izzo was set to be buried on the depth chart. This trade to Houston now opens the door for more playing time for Izzo, especially in the aftermath of the club reportedly releasing fellow tight end Darren Fells.
The 25-year-old entered the league as a seventh-round draft choice of the Patriots back in 2018 out of Florida State. Throughout his tenure in New England, Izzo played a minor role in the passing game, totaling just 19 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown over the last two seasons. In 2020, Izzo saw a career-high 20 targets, which is a number that could increase in Houston with the departure of Fells, who haw 76 targets over the last two seasons.
This is the second trade of note between the Texans and Patriots this offseason (the first being the Marcus Cannon deal), which is something to keep an eye on. So far, it appears like Belichick and former Patriots director of player personnel turned Texans GM Nick Caserio have a pretty strong rapport in trade talks.