Patriots Free Agency: 10 Wide Receivers New England Could Target

With free agency set to begin in three short days, the New England Patriots are in desperate need for wide receivers.

Wideouts Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Chris Hogan all are unrestricted free agents. Josh Gordon, who was suspended during the 2018 season, is a restricted free agent and no guarantee to be reinstated anytime soon.

That leaves the Patriots, currently, with just Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, Braxton Berrios and Damoun Patterson at wide receiver. So, yeah, they’ll need to sign, draft and maybe trade for some players.

Here are 10 options in free agency:

Adam Humphries
Age: 25
2018 team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 stats: 76 catches, 816 yards, five touchdowns, 21 punt returns, 139 yards
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 32nd

We identified Humphries as a potential Patriots target late in the 2018 season. It seems he might be too costly to sign, however. Edelman is due for a $4.5 million cap hit in 2019. Humphries reportedly could more than double that per year on the open market. He fits the mold, however.

Danny Amendola
Age: 33
2018 team: Miami Dolphins
2018 stats: 59 catches, 575 yards, one touchdown, 11 punt returns 59 yards
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 65th

Amendola could be a much cheaper slot option for the Patriots, and New England is more than familiar with him from his time on the team from 2013 to 2018. It really all depends if Amendola, who was released by the Dolphins on Friday, is willing to take a team-friendly contract to return.

Golden Tate
Age: 30
2018 team: Detroit Lions/Philadelphia Eagles
2018 stats: 74 catches, 795 yards, four touchdowns, seven punt returns, 28 yards
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 46th

Tate is older than Humphries, but he also has a much more impressive track record. He could garner a similar contract. He seems like a natural fit in New England if the Patriots are willing to pay up.

Jamison Crowder
Age: 25
2018 team: Washington Redskins
2018 stats: 29 catches, 388 yards, two touchdowns, two punt returns, 20 yards (nine games)
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 91st

Crowder played just nine games as he struggled with an ankle injury. He’s never quite put it all together in his NFL career, but a move to New England could do the trick.

Randall Cobb
Age: 28
2018 team: Green Bay Packers
2018 stats: 38 catches, 383 yards, two touchdowns, seven punt returns 46 yards (nine games)
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 95th

It’s kind of amazing Cobb is only 28. It seems his best years are behind him, but he was limited to nine games because of a hamstring injury and concussion in 2018. A one-year prove-it deal could benefit Cobb and the Patriots.

Cole Beasley
Age: 29
2018 team: Dallas Cowboys
2018 stats: 65 catches, 672 yards, three touchdowns, 11 punt returns, 61 yards
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 34th

Beasley reportedly wants $20 million guaranteed. That seems … high. If his price comes down, the Patriots could come calling.

Pierre Garcon
Age: 32
2018 team: San Francisco 49ers
2018 stats: 24 catches, 286 yards, one touchdown (eight games)
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 76th

Garcon is a low-cost outside option. He hasn’t had a fully healthy season since 2016, when he had over 1,000 yards. Perhaps the Patriots could rejuvenate him.

Tavon Austin
Age: 29
2018 team: Dallas Cowboys
2018 stats: eight catches, 140 yards, two touchdowns, six carries, 55 yards, 10 punt returns, 58 yards (seven games)
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): Unranked

The Patriots made Patterson into a very useful player last season. If they can’t re-sign him, then perhaps they could do the same with Austin, who’s never lived up to his billing as the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Austin, like Patterson, can catch, carry and return the ball. While Patterson is a kick returner, Austin is more known for returning punts.

Jermaine Kearse
Age: 29
2018 team: New York Jets
2018 stats: 37 catches, 371 yards, one touchdown,
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): 83rd

Kearse is another low-cost, low-risk option. He could play the role of a Brandon LaFell or Chris Hogan in the Patriots’ offense.

Andre Roberts
Age: 31
2018 team: New York Jets
2018 stats: 10 catches, 79 yards, 23 punt returns, 324 yards, one touchdown, 40 kick returns, 1,174 yards, one touchdown
2018 Pro Football Focus rank (among wide receivers): Unranked

If the Patriots can’t retain Patterson, then perhaps they could add Roberts to handle return duties. The Patriots had a ton of praise for him during the 2018 season.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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