The Patriots were busy this offseason in regard to adding wide receivers, signing veterans Torry Holt and David Patten, and drafting Taylor Price in the third round. They'll also get 2009 third-rounder Brandon Tate back from injury, which will give the Patriots plenty in their arsenal to offset a potential snag in Wes Welker's recovery.
It's obviously unlikely to yield the same results as the 2007 offseason, when the Patriots landed Welker, Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth. However, there are enough intriguing additions for the Patriots to be optimistic about improving their passing attack. Let's take a closer look at New England's wide receivers.
Wide Receivers on Roster: Sam Aiken, Julian Edelman, Buddy Farnham, Torry Holt, Darnell Jenkins, Randy Moss, David Patten, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater, Brandon Tate, Wes Welker
Available Roster Spots: Six, maybe seven
Key Statistic: Moss and Welker have combined for 596 receptions, 7,433 yards and 62 touchdowns in their three seasons together in New England.
Position Battle to Watch: After missing badly on Joey Galloway in 2009, the Patriots knew how important it would be to find a valuable third option for Tom Brady. Thus, they went after proven veterans Holt and Patten with the hope that one of them could be the outside option who would fit nicely with Moss and Welker. Holt has the better track record and more left in the tank, but Patten has the knowledge of the system and a special type of chemistry with Brady.
It's very unlikely that both Holt and Patten will make the team, but the Patriots would no doubt like some extra veteran presence to help with the youth movement at the position. Therefore, Holt and Patten might be in direct competition for one roster spot.
Hot Topic: Welker stole the show when he returned to practice June 2, and he looked sharp during the sessions in which the media were permitted to attend. Welker, who is the only player in league history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 110 receptions, keeps proving people wrong. He was New England's offensive MVP in 2009, and he was the heart and soul of the team until tearing ligaments in his knee in the regular-season finale.
It would be an improbable comeback if Welker were ready for the 2010 season opener, and all eyes will be on his left knee during New England's intense training camp practices.
NESN.com will be breaking down the Patriots by position.
Wednesday, July 21: Running backs
Friday, July 23: Tight ends