Patriots sign tight end Anthony Firkser, place linebacker on IR


Firkser, who played at Harvard from 2013 to 2016, played last season for the Atlanta Hawks.

Firkser had nine catches for 100 yards last season with the Hawks. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

The Patriots bolster their tight end depth roster with another talent with collegiate ties to the area.

New England announced Thursday that it has signed tight end Anthony Firkser, with the 28-year-old joining a staff group that also includes NFL regulars in Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.

In a corresponding move, the Patriots announced they had placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve. According to Jeff Howe of The AthleticMcMillan suffered a partial tear in his Achilles tendon during one of the Patriots’ OTA workouts.

McMillan, 27, appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots last season, recording 35 tackles as a deep linebacker.

McMillan has had an unfortunate chance of injury so far in his NFL career, missing all of the 2017 and 2021 seasons due to ACL tears. He also landed on the season-ending IR in 2019 with a hamstring injury.

Firkser, who played at Harvard from 2013 to 2016, played last season for the Atlanta Hawks. In 11 games with Atlanta, he had nine catches for 100 yards. He spent the previous four seasons with the Titans.

While Henry and Gesicki are to be expected to earn a fair amount of snaps in 2023, Firkser excelled last season as a blocking tight end. Firkser’s Pro Football Focus pass blocking rating of 80.3 ranked ninth overall among NFL tight ends in 2022.

He may not be much of a receiving threat, but Firkser burned New England in what was Tom Brady’s last game as a Patriot on Jan. 4, 2020.

In New England’s 20-13 loss to the Titans in the AFC Wild Card game, Firkser netted a Ryan Tannehill touchdown while landing a key third conversion in the fourth quarter.


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