With the Detroit Lions picking tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Isaac Nauta in the recent NFL Draft, plus the signing of Jesse James and Logan Thomas in free agency, that made second-year tight end Michael Roberts (pictured, #80) expendable.

On Thursday, the team traded Roberts to the World Champion New England Patriots for a future conditional draft choice.

Michael had been with the Lions since the team drafted him in 2017 out of Toledo.  He will now be counted on to help replace the retired Rob Gronkowski at the tight end position.

Roberts was the only tight end under contract with the Lions after the 2018 season, he has two years left on his rookie contract.

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