While the New England Patriots have brought in JuJu Smith-Schuster to replace Jakobi Meyers, they still need to improve their receiving weapons.
New England welcomed Bisi Johnson for a visit, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. In two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Johnson tallied 45 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.
The wide receiver’s 2022 campaign ended early as he was placed on injured reserve last August after suffering a torn ACL. He suffered the same injury during training camp in 2021.
But prior to his injuries, there was a chance that Johnson would end up a better wide receiver than Justin Jefferson. The Athletic’s Chad Graff gave some insight from his time covering the Vikings.
“Bisi Johnson was a Gary Kubiak pick in 2019,” Graff tweeted. “He had a great preseason which led to him making the team. Had 294 yards as a rookie. In ’20, he won the No. 2 WR job over Justin Jefferson. But production didn’t follow and they switched to JJ.”
New England Patriots Cut Brian Hoyer
The Patriots also shortened their roster by cutting veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer per the NFL transaction wire. Hoyer, 37, had three different stints with New England after originally joining the team as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State in 2009.
Hoyer played with New England through the 2011 season and also for a portion of the 2017 season and all of the 2018 season, before returning to the Patriots in 2020.
Overall, Hoyer has played in 76 regular-season games with 40 starts and has completed 902-of-1,518 passes for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions per Pro Football Reference.
Hoyer’s experience has been valuable for head coach Bill Belichick.
“Brian helps me with things that he’s seen,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in 2021. “He’s been with a lot of other teams, been with other coaches, been in other systems. We talk about plays in situations, and he has a lot of good either ideas or recollections of the way somebody else did something, which might be something to learn from or might be something that we can use and so forth.”
Patriots Bring Back Joe Cardona & Mack Wilson
While Hoyer will be gone, New England will be bringing back a key part of their special teams unit. According to former Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty, Cardona reached an agreement with New England for a new contract. ESPN’s Mike Reiss later reported the details of a contract.
The Patriots also brought back Mack Wilson. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the team had reached a one-year, $2.2 million agreement to bring back the linebacker.
Belichick was a fan of Wilson, praising him during the 2022 season.
“He’s fast. He’s very athletic,” Belichick said. “He gets to a lot of plays. One of the faster linebackers that we’ve had, and then probably around the league to tell you the truth. He gets to a lot of plays. So, it’s a big advantage. You know some of those perimeters, those catch and runs or outside plays. It’s definitely a strength of his. He’s a contact player. He’s had some explosive hits on runners and on blockers. He brings a level of physicality that’s good.”