A majority of media pundits and fans likely will reflect on what the New England Patriots lost rather than what they gained when dissecting this offseason.
The free-agent departures of cornerback J.C. Jackson and Ted Karras, the trade of Shaq Mason, and the obvious questions about the coaching staff all have caused a cloud to hover over One Patriot Place leading up to the 2022-23 campaign.
“DeVante Parker gives the Patriots an immediate presence on 50-50 balls near the boundary,” Howe wrote for a story on the league’s best offseason moves. “So much of their offense has been geared toward the middle of the field, but Parker can stress the defense in a different way than Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Mac Jones hit Parker on a nice long ball when he warded off the coverage during an eye-opening play in minicamp. It was only one play, sure, but it was a reminder of why New England wanted him.”
Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum spoke highly about Parker recently, as well. Tannenbaum also noted Parker’s ability to high-point the ball and win on the outside.
“I wouldn’t say his play speed is elite, but (if healthy) he’s a very good starting NFL receiver who can be scoring eight to 12 touchdowns and making contested catches,” Tannenbaum told ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
It’s worth noting how The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. referred to Karras arriving in Cincinnati as one of the Bengals’ best offseason signings while colleague Daniel Popper explained how the Chargers’ best decision was bringing Jackson to Los Angeles. Perhaps that best indicates how much New England lost this offseason.
Parker and the Patriots will start training camp on July 27.