Patriots Sign Rival AFC East Wide Receiver: Report

New England Patriots

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fter trimming their roster to 53 players, the New England Patriots have made another move. The Patriots have signed wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. to their practice squad.

Field Yates was the first to report the transaction.

Drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft by the Las Vegas Raiders, Bowden was soon traded to the Miami Dolphins. The wide receiver struggled with injuries missing all of 2021 due to a hamstring injury after recording 28 receptions for 211 yards in 10 games per Pro Football Reference.

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Bowden joins the likes of Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Tre Nixon, and J.J. Taylor on New England’s practice squad.

While primarily a wide receiver, the Patriots surely are intrigued by Bowden’s versatility. Bowden has received reps at running back and even has completed a pass in the NFL.

What Was Being Said About Bowden in College?

Drafted out of Kentucky, Bowden had an impressive college career. He caught 114 passes for 1,303 yards while also rushing for 1,468 yards on 206 carries. Bowden even threw for 495 yards in three seasons as a Wildcat. He totaled 22 touchdowns overall.

Bowden won the Paul Hornung Award which is gifted to the most versatile major college player in the country in his final college season.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein projected Bowden to get drafted in the third round and described him as versatile but limited.

“He might require a plan to maximize his value,” Zierlein wrote prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. “While he’s a slot receiver by position, creative play-callers can use him as a zone-read quarterback and as a gadget receiver for jet sweeps and a variety of short catch-and-run screens. He’s not overly sudden or explosive and some teams may want him to prove he can be more than a glorified running back. He’s instinctive, highly competitive and makes big plays. His development as a receiver was slowed due to his move to quarterback in 2019, but his return talent and versatility gives him a chance to contribute immediately as he waits to become a starting slot.”

Dolphins Sign Patriots Special Teamer

Later in the day, the Dolphins would make a similar move acquiring an ex-Patriots player. Miami signed cornerback and special teamer Justin Bethel according to Yates.

Bethel was acquired by the Patriots in October of 2019. He went on to play in 42 games for New England and tallied 26 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble per Pro Football Reference. Bethel, 32, is a three-time Pro Bowler.

2022 will be Bethel’s 11th NFL season and in his career, he has amassed 102 tackles, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, and eight fumble recoveries. He originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick (177th overall) by Arizona in the 2012 NFL Draft after a collegiate career at Presbyterian.

The Patriots saved $1.15 million in cap space and put a dead hit of $883,333 on their books after they cut Bethel. New England and Miami have been at the forefront of deals this offaseason. The Patriots acquired DeVante Parker in a trade with the Dolphins this offseason.


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