SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers traded tight end Asante Cleveland to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots for offensive lineman Jordan Devey on Tuesday.
The trade still needed to be finalized through the NFL and the players were expected to take physicals once they made their cross-country flights to their new teams, which could complete the deal as soon as Wednesday. San Francisco announced the agreement to the swap Tuesday.
San Francisco had an excess of tight ends, led by veteran Vernon Davis. The 23-year-old Cleveland, an undrafted free agent out of Miami last year, spent most of 2014 on the Niners' practice squad before being promoted to the active roster Nov. 27.
New England has Rob Gronkowski but has never really found a replacement for Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted in April for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Devey started four games last season and played in seven. He spent 2013 on the Patriots' practice squad. He likely will add depth to a new-look Niners line featuring players who have moved positions following the offseason departures of right tackle Anthony Davis, who retired following a head injury late last year, and left guard Mike Iupati, who signed a free-agent deal with the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.
Also Tuesday, the Patriots claimed offensive lineman Chris Martin off waivers from the Miami Dolphins.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL