Patriots Veteran Shuts Down Talk of Adding a No. 1 WR, ‘I Am That Guy’

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Do the New England Patriots need to prioritize finding a No. 1 WR? According to veteran wideout DeVante Parker, he’s already “that guy.” Patriots Instagram fan account Gillette Nation posted their player grade for Parker with a caption that reads:

“I know people are clamoring for a top-tier wideout for Mac Jones, but I really do think Parker can be that guy. He showed signs of being the deep threat that the Patriots needed in his first season here, averaging 17.4 yards per catch. Capped off by a fantastic season finale in Buffalo, Parker can certainly add an element to this offense when healthy, so whoever the new OC is needs to scheme some more deep concepts and some more 1-on-1 matchups for Vante.”

Parker responded to the post with a short but affirming message.

“I am that guy,” Parker replied.

Here is a look at the post, and you can see Parker’s reply in the comments.


DeVante Parker’s Case For Being Considered a No. 1 WR With the New England Patriots

Parker had his moments as a Patriot in 2022 after a slow start to the season. He had just one reception for nine yards through the first two weeks of the season, per Pro Football Reference. He was targeted only four times during that stretch. Parker’s first splash moment with New England happened during the Patriots’ Week 3 loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens.

Despite the team taking the 37-26 defeat, thanks to a dynamic 5-TD performance from Lamar Jackson, Parker showed what he was capable of as a deep threat. He hauled in 5 catches for 156 yards, including a 40-yard completion.

Unfortunately for Parker and the Patriots, that was the soon-to-be 30-year-old (his birthday is January 20) receiver’s only game with more than 100 yards receiving. Here is an interesting statistic in 2022 for the Patriots and Parker; The team lost all of Parker’s best statistical performances. In addition to the defeat against the Ravens in Week 3, New England also lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving when Parker had four receptions for 80 yards.

The Patriots were mauled 33-14 by the Chicago Bears during a Monday night matchup on October 24 when Parker had three receptions for 68 yards. Lastly, New England also came up short in the regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills when Parker had six receptions for 79 yards and 2 TDs.

Parker has one year remaining on his current contract and is set to make $5.7 million in 2023, per Spotrac. Parker was traded to New England from the Miami Dolphins along with a 2022 5th-round pick for a 2023 3rd-round pick.


Patriots Have a Decision to Make on Jakobi Meyers

While Parker has the size and ability to be the team’s No. 1 WR, statistically, Jakobi Meyers is the guy who has led the position group since the 2021 campaign. Meyers has led the Patriots in receiving yards the last two seasons, per Pro Football Reference. He led the team in receptions in 2021 and was just two behind do-it-all running back Rhamondre Stevenson in that category in 2022, per ESPN. Meyers missed three games due to injury in 2022.

Meyers is heading into free agency this offseason, and the 26-year-old is perhaps the top free agent at his position in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov. If the Patriots aren’t willing to pay to keep Meyers in New England, they may have to turn to Parker, Tyquan Thornton, or an as-yet-added wide receiver to be their undisputed No. 1 option at wideout.

New England’s history of drafting and trading for wide receivers has been criticized over the past few years. The failed additions of players like N’Keal Harry and Josh Gordon stick out when evaluating the Patriots organization in this regard.

How the position is filled this offseason will be one of the major focus areas for Patriots Nation.

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