Should Patriots Pursue Robert Woods After Receiver’s Release?

Woods was released by the Titans on Wednesday


Feb 23, 2023

An intriguing receiving option for the Patriots just hit the open market.

The Titans on Wednesday officially released Robert Woods after the veteran wideout spent just one season in Tennessee. Woods was traded to the Titans by the Los Angeles Rams last offseason and had one year remaining on his contract. Now, he’s a free agent.

The Patriots entered the offseason with two wideouts, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor, scheduled to hit free agency. And while there’s a chance that Meyers re-signs, it’s hard to envision Agholor returning to New England after two disappointing campaigns. Woods certainly wouldn’t fill the potential void created by a Meyers departure, but he could serve as an attractive low-risk/high-reward replacement for Agholor.

After spending four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Woods joined the Rams in 2017 and enjoyed a largely successful five-year run in Los Angeles. The 2013 second-round pick peaked in 2018 and 2019, when he racked up 1,219 and 1,134 receiving yards, respectively. He posted 90 receptions for 936 yards the next season but suffered a torn ACL in November of 2021, roughly four months before he was traded to Tennessee.

Woods showed clear signs of regression this season but still registered 53 catches for 527 yards and two touchdowns while playing a full 17 games in a bad offense. He’ll turn 31 years old on April 10 but clearly still has something left in the tank.

If Woods is willing to accept a potentially reduced role with a path toward decent playing time, he could be a decent option for the Patriots. He’s a savvy veteran receiver who’s capable of lining up in multiple positions.

In 2022, Woods saw 229 snaps in the slot and 567 snaps out wide, per Pro Football Focus. He also is relatively surehanded, posting a career drop percentage of 5.8%. For comparison, Meyers’ career drop percentage is 4.4%, while Agholor’s is 9.5%.

Again, Woods wouldn’t join the Patriots with the expectation of being either the top option or the No. 2 wideout. But he could grow into a sizable role in an offense that currently features multiple question marks at receiver.

In addition to Meyers and Agholor being free agents, New England also doesn’t know what it has in second-year wideout Tyquan Thornton. And we have no idea what the future holds for Kendrick Bourne, who spent most of the 2022 season in the doghouse and saw his name in trade rumors. DeVante Parker’s durability concerns are well-documented.

Woods probably won’t cost much. If he’s open to a cheap, one-year prove-it deal, the Patriots should strongly consider pursuing him.

Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images
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