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Falcons trade TE Eric Saubert to New England Patriots for conditional 7th-round pick

It’s a stunning move for a tight end who never seemed to get it going with Atlanta.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have needed some depth behind Austin Hooper in the form of a receiving tight end. Many fans thought Eric Saubert could develop into that guy, but it looks like the team no longer believes that to be the case.

As such, the team has agreed to trade Saubert to the New England Patriots for a conditional seventh-round pick.

There’s no other way to paint this: Saubert has been a disappointment for the Falcons. He came in with a tremendous amount of upside, but never seemed to get it together. Saubert finishes his Falcons career having appeared in 30 games and racking up five catches for 48 total yards.

The team brass probably felt that Saubert was unlikely to make the roster this year and decided to get what they could rather than to just cut him and let him walk. At least this way, they’ve gained something, even if it’s just a conditional seventh-round pick.

Given that the Falcons have only played two preseason games, it seems clear Saubert lost the faith of the coaching staff this year. It’s a disappointing end for a player whose potential seemed incredible, but he’s getting a fresh start with a Patriots team that tends to wring the most out of its tight ends and has a desperate need for players with upside. If he’s going to step into a larger role, it’ll be there.

The Falcons, meanwhile, still have plenty at the tight end position. Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker are locked in as the top two options and now Logan Paulsen, Alex Gray, and Jaeden Graham will duke it out over what’s likely to be one final spot on the roster. Paulsen’s the early favorite, but Gray and Graham have had their moments this summer.

Your thoughts on this surprising trade?