Former University of Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has found a new team, but it won’t be a homecoming for the 27-year-old.
Seferian-Jenkins has reportedly signed a one-year, league minimum contract with the New England Patriots. Ian Rapoport says that ASJ picked the Pats over the Seattle Seahawks, who also brought him in for a visit last year but did not sign him. Seferian-Jenkins will presumably compete with other TEs to replace the retired Rob Gronkowski.
The story of Seferian-Jenkins is well-documented. He was a very talented and productive player in college, and he left school early to go into the NFL Draft in 2014. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him early in round two, but he didn’t last long there. Injuries and a DUI arrest — his second one dating back to when he played at Washington — led to his release in 2016.
He went on to play for the New York Jets through 2017, and was last seen on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. Seferian-Jenkins was also suspended for two games of the 2017 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He has made a concerted effort to achieve sobriety and get his life back on track.
It is certainly interesting that the Seahawks reached out to ASJ again. The current TE roster consists of Will Dissly (who suffered a horrible knee injury in his rookie season), Nick Vannett (contract year), and a nearly 32-year-old Ed Dickson. I imagine Dissly’s injury and Vannett’s expiring contract would be reason enough to explore the TE market, in addition to perhaps seeing what’s available in the NFL Draft.