Last year, the New England Patriots tight end position was an unknown heading into the summer. Rob Gronkowski was dealing with injuries, Jake Ballard was coming back from a torn ACL and trying to rejuvenate his career and Aaron Hernandez went to jail on murder charges. So for Daniel Fells, he thought he had a legitimate chance to make the team in 2013.
Yet even though he played well despite suffering a concussion in training camp, the Patriots cut Fells before the start of the season and the veteran tight end surprisingly didn't get a second chance to play again in the season and to this day, Fells, now a member of the Giants, is still shocked that the Patriots cut him last summer and he didn't a second opportunity to play.
"To be honest, that's the burning question I've never really been able to figure out. I kept asking myself day in, day out, all season last year. It just wasn't the right fit [in New England] I guess," said Fells, who was released by the Patriots in late August and signed by the Giants in January. "I don't want to say it was an injury-thing. It was timing. It was what it was. You just make the best out of it."
After the season, the Giants needed tight ends after Brandon Myers failed miserably to be the guy that produced with the Oakland Raiders, so they signed Kellen Davis along with Fells to compete with Adrian Robinson and Larry Donnell. Of the now four tight ends (Jerome Cunningham and Xavier Grimble have since been released,) Fells may have had the best summer and could go from not playing at all in 2013 to possibly finding himself as the team's starting tight end come Week 1. On Thursday night, he could also find himself in first team reps with the offense and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said that his steady play may have earned him that chance.
"He's a pretty steady guy," Coughlin said. "That is the best I can say. He knows what to do. He was effective on some of the plays you are describing or reaching for [last week]. I think he did a pretty good job."
Fells will not only have a chance to impress the coaches to the point where he might earn a starting job, he could have a chance to make the Patriots regret cutting him last year by playing well when they play in the preseason finale of the summer.
It would only be fitting, as the Giants have had a knack for getting one over on the Patriots since 2007, and it would continue that same trend, especially if the Giants were able to find success with Fells one year after the Patriots let him go.
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