The Patriots cut Niklas on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Niklas signed a one-year deal with the Patriots in April, but the team elected to let him walk Friday to open a roster spot of the signing of wide receiver Paul Turner. Given New England's depth at the position, it was going to be a long shot for him to find a 53-man roster spot, but he will now be free to look into a deal with another club.
Niklas agreed Wednesday with the Patriots on a one-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
A 2014 second-round pick, Niklas was limited by a variety of injuries during his four seasons in Arizona, catching 19 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in only 41 games. Listed at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, he's one of the larger tight ends in the NFL, so he should at least be useful as a goal-line blocker if he stays healthy. Niklas will provide depth behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, though the latter could end up as a cap casualty before Week 1. Regardless, it's hard to envision a scenario in which Niklas is a major part of the New England passing attack.
Niklas visited the Patriots on Monday, WEEI.com reports.
Niklas logged 11 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in 15 games for the Cardinals in 2017. If the 2014 second-rounder does join the Patriots, he'd provide the team with added depth at tight end behind Rob Gronkowski, who is expected back for the 2018 season after having reportedly mulled retirement.
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