Adam Humphries apparently was not the only high-profile slot receiver the New England Patriots showed considerable interest in this week.
Cole Beasley said during his introductory news conference with the Buffalo Bills that the Patriots were one of the teams vying for his services.
“It was a battle between here and New England and Dallas, obviously,” Beasley, who spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Cowboys, told reporters Thursday in Buffalo.
The 29-year-old ultimately chose to sign a four-year, $29 million contract with the Bills, who also have added wide receiver John Brown since NFL free agency officially opened Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriots, who made a late push to sign Humphries before he latched on with the Tennessee Titans, waited until Thursday afternoon to sign a receiver from outside the organization, reportedly bringing Bruce Ellington aboard on a one-year deal. Before that, they re-signed Phillip Dorsett on Wednesday and also placed a restricted free agent tender on Josh Gordon, who currently is serving an indefinite suspension.
Wideout is a position of need for the Patriots, who currently have Julian Edelman, Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson, Matthew Slater and now Ellington under contract for the 2019 season. Neither Berrios nor Patterson has appeared in a regular-season NFL game, Slater is a special teamer who rarely sees the field on offense, and Ellington has a history of hamstring issues.
Multitalented receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson left New England this week to sign a two-year, $10 million contract with the Chicago Bears. Chris Hogan currently is a free agent after spending the last three seasons with the Patriots.
The Patriots reportedly showed interest in former Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions slot receiver Golden Tate, but the veteran wideout reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the New York Giants on Thursday.