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Shiancoe signs with Patriots; Shockey next?

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Visanthe Shiancoe signed a one-year contract with the Patriots, an NFL source said, ending the tight end's flirtation with the Eagles.

Shiancoe signs with Patriots; Shockey next?

Visanthe Shiancoe signing with New England could open the door for Jeremy Shockey. (Rick Osentosk/AP Photoi)
Visanthe Shiancoe signing with New England could open the door for Jeremy Shockey. (Rick Osentosk/AP Photoi)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Visanthe Shiancoe signed a one-year contract with the Patriots, an NFL source said, ending the tight end's flirtation with the Eagles.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports first reported Shiancoe's signing.

The Eagles had Shiancoe in for a workout on Tuesday. General manager Howie Roseman said the tryout went well, but he added at the time that no deal was imminent. The team has also flirted with the possibility of bringing free agent tight end Jeremy Shockey in for a look-see, but those plans were put on hold.

Shiancoe signing with New England could open the door for Shockey.

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FROM EARLIER

The Eagles have put on hold plans to bring tight end Jeremy Shockey in for a physical after they worked out Visanthe Shiancoe on Tuesday, a team source said.

If the Shiancoe work out went well -- and signs point to that being the case -- the Eagles could have him under contract before the rest of the team reports to training camp on Wednesday.

"It's the time of year where we're trying to create competition," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "Camp opens for vets tomorrow. We go through our short list. We see if there's any guys that we have good grades on and we work them out.

"Last year we had five tight ends on the roster. Right now we have four. We're looking at everything."

Shiancoe, who recently visited with the Patriots, was negotiating with the Eagles and New England and could finalize a deal by Tuesday night, Steve Wyche of NFL Network later reported.

If the Eagles were to sign any free agent off the street during camp the player would not be permitted to practice for three days, per the league's collective bargaining agreement. 

FROM EARLIER:

The Eagles, obviously, aren't satisfied with their options at backup tight end, or at the very least, want to push those options at training camp.

Visanthe Shiancoe is coming to Lehigh University today to workout for the team. And now, the Eagles plan on bringing Jeremy Shockey in for a physical on Wednesday, according to an NFL source.

Shockey, the bad boy tight end who played memorably for the New York Giants, not as memorably for the Saints, and lastly for the Panthers, is 31 and certainly on the downslope of his career. But he still caught 37 passes for 455 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Still, there's a question of whether the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Shockey has any gas left in the tank. The same could be said of the 32-year-old Shiancoe. But he is at least getting a tryout. Shockey has to pass a physical first.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have made it clear that they want to throw a little gas into the competition at backup tight end. Clay Harbor enters camp as the No. 2 behind Brent Celek. Harbor has been serviceable as a backup the last two seasons, but he hasn't been as sure-handed as the Eagles would like.

He caught 13 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown last season, however, and did improve his blocking. The Eagles employed two-tight end sets as much as any NFL team in 2011. Brett Brackett, who the Eagles added to their practice squad last October, is also here. Brackett is a converted tight end having played wide receiver at Penn State.

Celek finished strong last season -- despite hip and sports hernia injuries -- and ended the year with 62 catches for 811 yards and five touchdowns. He was held back slightly in the spring as he recovered from hip surgery. But Eagles coach Andy Reid said Sunday that Celek was good to go for camp and Celek said via text message Tuesday morning that he feels great.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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