Patriots Mailbag: Should New England Rummage Through Available Receivers?


November 29, 2019

New England Patriots fans seemingly want their team to shop for bargains on Black Friday.

In this week’s mailbag, we received questions about whether the Patriots should sign Dontrelle Inman, Jordan Matthews and Dez Bryant in light of last week’s lack of depth at wide receiver.

Read on to see where we stand.

Can someone like Yodny Cajuste be put on active roster from NFI or does this count as one of the 2 IR moves (already made)? Do you see us picking up Matthews or Inman as WR insurance if Dorsett or Sanu seem to be out for a couple more weeks?
— @RommelRoo
Patriots third-round pick Yodny Cajuse could have come off of the non-football injury list this season, but he will not be activated. He did not count as one of the two players returning off of injured reserve. Players on NFI and the physically unable to perform lists are treated separately.

And no, I do not see the Patriots picking up Matthews or Inman. Inman was cut Aug. 18, well before he needed to be released, and he wasn’t impressive over the summer. I see no reason why the Patriots’ opinion of him would have changed.

Matthews was in a similar situation last year. He was cut Aug. 1, and the Patriots have shown no interest in bringing him back since last summer.

If the Patriots got into a serious pinch at wide receiver, then maybe they’d bring back Maurice Harris, but it sounds like Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett both were pretty close to playing Sunday. They could be back this week against the Houston Texans.

How much longer could we expect to see Jules play. #MailDoug
— @lc_3344
He’s signed through 2021. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played two more seasons after this one. He’s dealt with some injuries this year, but he’s still on pace for his best NFL season with 111 catches, 1,177 yards and six touchdowns. That’s unbelievable for a 33-year-old “slot” receiver.

Wes Welker, who is often compared to Edelman, caught 49 passes for 464 yards with two touchdowns at 33. He retired after his age 34 season.

Will Stephon Gilmore win DPOY?
— @kyreenmckiver
He’s the favorite right now ahead of Joey Bosa, Aaron Donald, Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, TJ Watt, Shaquil Barrett, Chandler Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick and teammate Jamie Collins.

I think he deserves it. He’s the best player on the NFL’s best defense, and he has four interceptions on the season. So, basic stats are backing him up.

He’s allowed just 30 catches on 66 targets for 360 yards with no touchdowns. He’s intercepted four passes, and he has a pick-six. His 37.4 passer rating allowed is second only to teammate JC Jackson among qualified NFL cornerbacks, and Gilmore has been covering the opposing team’s best wide receiver.

Also, what are thoughts on laughable comments by @ProFootballTalk Profootballtalk saying Lamar Jackson > Pat Mahomes?
— @breakthewall988
Why are those laughable?

Jackson is playing better than Mahomes this season, and Jackson’s 2019 season is comparable to Mahomes’ 2018 season.

Jackson has a higher QBR than Mahomes had in 2018 or 2019. Jackson’s QBR this season is 82.2. Mahomes’ QBR last season was a league-leading 80.4. Mahomes’ QBR this season is 79.7.

Mahomes is a better passer than Jackson, but Jackson is having the best rushing quarterback season of all-time on top of his passing ability.

I don’t know why people are being so protective over Mahomes, it’s not like we’re dealing with a 10-year sample size for him. Jackson has been better than Mahomes this season, why is it laughable to say that?

You’ve covered the team for quite awhile now, minus the consistency and the Super Bowls, what has impressed you the most about the team? #maildoug
— @JefFullerMyself
The first thing that came to mind has been the ability to not lose the locker room. That seemingly happened in 2009, and Bill Belichick appears to have slightly tweaked his approach to bringing in talent since that time.

A lesser coach than Belichick could have lost the locker room after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss. Most teams have a Super Bowl loss hangover. The Patriots didn’t, they won the next season. That’s pretty unbelievable after what happened with the Malcolm Butler benching.

With this coming WR class being so deep do u see the Patriots drafting another WR or just trust the development or players like Gunner and Jakobi
— @RuthlessJassa
I think the Patriots are in pretty good shape at wide receiver next season with Edelman, Sanu, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and whoever else they bring in. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that they could draft a wide receiver, but probably not in the first round.

Do you agree with Troy Aikmans commentary that Jakobi Meyers should be on the practice squad? #MailDoug
— @FatherOfCoins
I just went back to listen to that comment. No. Meyers has been one of the better Patriots rookie wide receivers in the Belichick-era this season.

If the Patriots believed Meyers was a practice squad player, then they would have waived him this August. Instead, they’ve kept him on the roster all season, and he’s played an important role. The Patriots clearly believed someone was going to claim Meyers if he had been waived, so other teams likely also agree that Meyers isn’t a practice squad player.

Meyers has 19 catches on 28 targets for 253 yards so far this season. He caught four passes on nine targets for 74 yards in Week 12 against the Cowboys.

#maildoug How would you evaluate Elandon Roberts performance as fullback? I’m sure he’s no Develin, but they seem to be gaining more confidence in him. What’s the ceiling by playoff time?
— @MrQuindazzi
I think he’s been pretty good. He had a great block late in the game when Sony Michel should have put the game away with a 12-yard run when the Patriots needed a first down. He had another impressive block when he smoked Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on a shorter run.

Roberts will never be used to the same degree as Develin because he doesn’t have the same knowledge of the offense. You aren’t going to split out Roberts like the Patriots did when they used Develin as a wide receiver.

But as a pure fullback, I think Roberts has shown a lot of potential.

Why did the pats not take Lamar when they had the chance
— @joshuaS_10
There are two ways to think about this.

The Patriots could have taken Jackson at No. 23 or No. 31 overall last spring. They instead picked left tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. Clearly, Jackson would be an incredible developmental quarterback behind Tom Brady. In the long term, it looks like a mistake to pass on Jackson not once but twice.

At the same time, the Patriots won a Super Bowl last season with the decisions they made. You could certainly make the argument that Michel was replaceable by a player selected later in the draft, but at the same time, he did help the team win it all.

Jackson is a much better player than Wynn and Michel. The Patriots should have taken him over one of those players, but the Patriots won a sixth Super Bowl. I’m riding the fence on this one.

Let’s go rapid fire.

Is Ben Watson bad at running routes or bad at catching footballs?
— @MaralagoFL

is it just me or would dez Bryant be a great late season option for the pats at wr
— @pkmcd99
Not just you, but it’s not going to happen.

How do I extend my bed frame?
— @NickCarrasco97
I’ll ask my mom.

Who do you expect to be in the AFC and NFC championship games? And who goes on to the Super Bowl?
— @AdamJMurphy19
Ravens-Patriots and Saints-49ers. All four of those matchups sound fun. I’ll go Patriots-Saints, though, in a winner leaves town match. I could see the winning quarterback retiring. That’s pure speculation.

Do you think Bill trades Gilmore for 2 first round picks since his cap hit is $19m next year?
— @BillKahanKapri

Why are you the way you are?
— @BostonWest80111
I was born this way.

when are the patriots signing ab back #maildoug
— @michaelis4real
Not today.

Happy Thanksgiving, Doug. What’s on your ideal Thanksgiving plate? #MailDoug
— @TheRealZiploc
Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy and a crescent roll.

Should I travel by train or car today?
— @diannaESPN
I’d go car. Sounds like the start of a great movie, though.

Did u buy ur tickets for Star Wars yet ?
— @CheyenneSulli14
No. I have no idea when I’ll be able to see it. I’ll have to play it by ear.

I just want to take this opportunity to say “The Mandalorian” is awesome, though. It might be my favorite Star Wars content of all time.

Is Mathew Slater a Hall of Famer?
— @timnaughton
Still yes.

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