New England Patriots Are Going After Quantity Instead of Quality At WR

By Justin Patrick
Julian Edelman
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have agreed to a deal with WR Julian Edelman, although the terms of the deal are not known at this point. If the Patriots were able to re-sign Edelman for a decent price and they have plans to trade Danny Amendola, then that is a good signing. If the Patriots had to pay too much for Edelman, then this wasn’t the best decision after all. Edelman had 105 catches last season for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns, so he can produce. He also has a good relationship and familiarity with Patriots QB Tom Brady, so that is definitely a plus. But keep in mind the Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels like to run an offense that does not really allow both Amendola and Edelman (both slot receivers) to be on the field at the same time a lot. In addition, although he played all 16 games in 2013, Edelman has had injury issues in the past. Hopefully the deal is friendly to the Patriots, but it is difficult to envision both Edelman and Amendola producing consistently at a high level for the Patriots in 2014.

The Patriots also agreed to a deal with former Carolina Panthers WR Brandon LaFell, signing him to a three-year, $11 million deal. LaFell is 6-foot-2, 210-pounds and is an inside/outside receiver. He started all 16 regular season games for the Panthers in 2013 and had a career-high 49 receptions for 627 yards and five touchdowns. He is not really a marquee receiver, although he does have size. LaFell’s rookie season was 2010 and the only time he played a full season was in 2013. He has only had over 40 receptions twice in his career so far, in 2012 and 2013. It is doubtful that LaFell is the receiver who will help the Patriots win another Super Bowl.

Kenny Britt visited the Patriots on Sunday, Mar. 3. Britt played for the Tennessee Titans from his rookie year in 2009 through the 2013 season. Britt never logged more than 45 receptions (2012) and had 11 receptions for 96 yards and zero touchdowns in 2013. He is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, so he would also add some size to the New England receiving corps, but he probably is not the answer for the Patriots either. Britt is not really a No. 1 receiver and has had some off the field issues, including a DUI in 2012. It has also been apparent in the past that Britt has shown a lack of interest while on the field.

The Patriots need a true No. 1 receiver, and they still don’t have that unless TE Rob Gronkowski can finally stay healthy all season. Re-signing Edelman, signing LaFell and possibly signing Britt will not make the Patriots markedly better than they were in 2013 when they lost in the AFC Championship game.

In addition to Edelman, Amendola, LaFell, Gronkowski and possibly Britt, the Patriots also have Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins on the roster. It seems the Patriots are going for quantity instead of true quality at the receiver position. Here’s to hoping it works out for them.

Justin Patrick is a New England Patriots writer for Follow him on Twitter @calling_allfans, like him on Facebook and add him to  your network on Google.

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