In what has been a whirlwind at the receiver position, the New England Patriots are putting their final touches on the core. After cutting veteran receivers Deion Branch, Jabbar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth, the Patriots have acquired wide receiver Greg Salas via trade with the St. Louis Rams.
Only participating in six games due to a broken fibula during the 2011-2012 season, the 6’1′, 201 pound receiver brought in 264 yards and no touchdowns during his rookie campaign on the Rams.
Like Brandon Lloyd, Salas was a player under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in St. Louis, meaning he may be able to step in and play immediately due to the familiarity in the offense.
Coming out of the University of Hawaii, Salas holds the school record for career receiving yards (4,345), most receiving yards in a season (1,889) and most receptions in a season (119). This led him to be drafted 112th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft by the Rams. Out of college, Pro Football Weekly compared the young receiver to Philadelphia Eagles player Jason Avant.
With the addition of Salas, the Patriots now have added insurance behind Wes Welker. Throw in receivers Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater alongside tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and you will most likely have the team’s starting receiving core going into the Week 1 game against the Tennessee Titans next Sunday.
It is clear that the Patriots are vying to go young and if Salas can bring quality to the team, then it will lessen the team’s likelihood of signing franchise tag recipient Welker to a long term deal next off-season.