NFL Writer Believes This Patriots Player Could Use ‘Fresh Start’ In Offseason

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Is Phillip Dorsett’s NFL career trending away from New England?

ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Wednesday named the New England Patriots wide receiver as the player who could use a fresh start more than anyone else on the team’s roster. Dorsett can enter free agency March 18, and Reiss believes his demotion from ever-present option to apparent afterthought in the Patriots’ offense in 2019 signals the time is right for him to move on.

“After three solid seasons in New England since he was acquired in a trade for QB Jacoby Brissett, the likable Dorsett seemed to get phased out of the receiver mix as the 2019 season progressed,” Reiss wrote. “Considering that the Patriots were badly in need of production from their receivers, that could be an ominous sign for him returning in 2020. Dorsett, who earned widespread respect throughout the organization for his professionalism, is an unrestricted free agent.”

Dorsett caught 29 passes for 397 yards with five touchdowns during the 2019 regular season. He had only one reception for six yards in the Patriots’ loss to the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round.

He insisted late in the season his reduced role wouldn’t change his mentality or approach to preparation. However, the earlier-than-expected end of the Patriots’ season and a looming bout with free agency will give Dorsett plenty of time to consider where he stands in New England and whether he should heed Reiss’ advice.

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