Patriots Linked to WR That Bill Belichick ‘Loves’

Getty Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots still haven’t made a significant move to acquire a wide receiver this offseason, and yes, we saw the Ty Montgomery signing. However, the Patriots were recently mentioned as a potential suitor for the Miami Dolphins’ Devante Parker.

Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson believes Parkers could be “available for pennies,” now that the Dolphins have traded away five draft picks to acquire the speedy Tyreek Hill.

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With Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedrick Wilson and tight end Mike Gesicki, Tua Tagovailoa should have no shortage of weapons to target in the passing game. Parker could be expendable, thus Monson’s thoughts on his potential availability.

Pats’ Pulpit’s Rich Hill immediately sees Parker as a fit for the receiver-hungry Patriots. Hill reminds us that Bill Belichick has seemed quite fond of Parker in the past ahead of the Patriots’ meetings with the Dolphins.


Bill Belichick Seems to Love Devante Parker

What is Hill referring to? Take a look at this clip from 2020 with Belichick showering Parker with praise:


Bill Belichick On Dolphins WR Devante Parker's EffectivenessNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick prasied Devante Parker ahead of the team's Week 1 showdown against the Miami Dolphins. ———————– Subscribe: nesn.com/user/nesn?sub_confirmation=1 Follow: Twitter – @nesn Instagram – @nesn Facebook – @nesn Snapchat – @nesnsnap2020-09-11T16:39:13Z

“Devante [Parker] he’s got a very very good skill set,” Belichick said ahead of the team’s Week 1 meeting in 2020. “He’s a big athlete that runs well, has good hands good, has run after the catch ability and good quickness for his size. So he presents a lot of problems on deep balls as a big target, on intermediate routes in cuts and crossing routes things like that. He’s strong and can break tackles as a catch-and-run player so he attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three spots.”

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That definitely sounds like a coach who has evaluated an opposing player, and who has some admiration for their skill set. Belichick often speaks this way about opponents’ top players, so this isn’t out of the ordinary.

The possibility of Parker landing with the Patriots was mentioned by Anthony Cardenas of FanSided. He called the Patriots potentially Parker’s best landing spot if he were dealt.

“The Patriots have been notoriously sub-par when it comes to big names at the wide receiver position, and this was especially true in Tom Brady’s final years and is still the case today,” Cardenas wrote. “Parker would immediately become the top target for Mac Jones, and Belichick would be sure to utilize his size and catch radius to make him the feared target that he always should have been.”

The Patriots’ decision not to chase any of the big-name wide receivers in free agency has put them in a position where they will have to look at the second or third wave of free agency, the NFL Draft or a trade if they want to improve the position.

“New England currently has the 11th most expensive wide receiver room in the league, thanks in very large part to Nelson Agholor’s $14.8 million cap hit,” Cardenas continued. “But should the Patriots brass be able to move money around and should covet Parker’s services, then this could be the destination that makes the most sense for the wide receiver.”

Agholor’s contract is problematic, but the Patriots have a few options to explore to create the money to afford Parker. According to Over the Cap, the Patriots would save just under $5 million if they cut Agholor before June 1. There is another $1.1 million available if they release N’Keal Harry.


The Cost of Acquiring Devante Parker

Acquiring a player of Parker’s ability would seemingly be worth sacrificing two mostly disappointing receivers. When it comes to compensation, if Parker commanded more than a fifth or sixth-round pick, it would be a surprise.

The 29-year-old did miss seven games in 2021, but he would still likely be the Patriots’ best receiver. Back in 2019, Parker’s best season in the NFL, he caught 72 passes for 1,202 yards and 9 TDs.

In 2020, the injury bug became a factor as Parker played 14 games. He managed 63 receptions for 793 yards and 4 TDs without ideal quarterback play during any of his seasons in the NFL.

At 6’3″ 219 pounds, Parker could potentially give the Patriots the kind of downfield threat they hoped Harry would develop into at this point in his career.

When it is all said and done, this could be nothing more than the latest linkage between the Patriots and a receiver the fanbase could get excited about only to have another more daring team make the move to trade for Parker.

At some point, the Patriots will add a receiver or two. Perhaps one of them will be Parker.

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