What Patriots Are Getting In DeVante Parker After Reported Dolphins Trade

Parker is a difference-maker when healthy


Apr 2, 2022

The Patriots got better Saturday, reportedly trading for veteran receiver DeVante Parker. They also acquired a 2022 fifth-round pick while sending a 2023 third-rounder to the Dolphins.

No, Parker isn’t as sexy of an addition as Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill would’ve been for New England, but he still is a difference-maker when healthy. And, like Wes Welker before him, Parker joins the Patriots after prior success against them while playing in Miami.

A first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Parker was a relative disappointment over his first few seasons in Miami, with injuries and poor quarterback play both factoring into his underwhelming production. But he broke out in 2019, catching 72 balls for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns while playing his only full season.

Parker followed it up with a 63-793-4 campaign in 2020 (14 games) and racked up 40 catches for 515 yards and two TDs while missing seven games last season for the Dolphins.

The Louisville product generally finishes somewhere between 30th and 50th in the Pro Football Focus receiver rankings, including 41st in 2021. He was the 18th-ranked receiver by PFF in 2019.

Parker routinely played well against the Patriots while in a Dolphins uniform, amassing three 100-yard performances against Bill Belichick defenses. Perhaps most famously, Parker torched Stephon Gilmore for eight catches and 137 yards when the Dolphins beat the Patriots in the 2019 regular-season finale — a costly loss for New England.

Parker, who had 81 yards against the Patriots in Week 1 last season, has 42 catches for 597 yards in 12 career games against Belichick. Considering that success, along with Belichick’s prior comments about the 6-foot-3 receiver, it’s no surprise that Parker now is a Patriot.

“He’s got a very, very good skill set,” Belichick said of Parker in 2020, via Ryan Hannable. “He’s a big athlete that runs well. Has good hands, good run-after-the-catch ability, and good quickness for his size. So, he presents a lot of problems on deep balls. He’s a big target on the end of routes, in-cuts and crossing routes, things like that.

“He’s strong and can break tackles as a catch or run player. So, he attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three spots.”

To be clear: Parker, though a versatile route-runner; is a boundary receiver. He is not a player who will fill the vacant role of a quick, shifty slot receiver in the Patriots’ offense. During his career, Parker has lined up wide on 86.8% of his offensive snaps, compared to 13.2% in the slot.

As far as the contract, Parker has two years remaining on his current deal with base salaries of $5.65 million in 2022 and $5.7 million in 2023. He would carry a dead salary cap hit of $2.7 million if the Patriots were to move on from him next offseason.

With Parker now in the fold, this is the current state of New England’s receiving corps:

— DeVante Parker
— Nelson Agholor
— Kendrick Bourne
— Jakobi Meyers
— N’Keal Harry
— Kristian Wilkerson
— Malcolm Perry
— Tre Nixon
— running back/receiver hybrid Ty Montgomery

Assuming the Patriots break camp with five receivers on the 53-man roster, it’s likely at least one of those players leaves between now and the season-opener. Receivers such as Wilkerson, Perry and Nixon will battle for roster spots and ultimately could land on the practice squad, where they spent much of last season.

As of Saturday afternoon, there was no indication that Parker’s arrival could signal the end of Agholor’s tenure in New England. Thinkings have been similarly quiet on the N’Keal Hary front, despite all signs pointing toward his days in a Patriots uniform being numbered.

Of course, as the Parker trade proves, things can change at any moment.

Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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