The Patriots aren’t a team with a ton of job openings.
So, as the league’s 31 other teams make their releases to get down to 53, Director of Pro Personnel Nick Caserio can be choosy about which castoffs he considers throwing a lifeline to.
Before he does that, he has to consider three things: Is the player better than what the team has in-house? Will the player be able to get up-to-speed quickly? Which player that the Patriots have spent months with will go in order to pick the new guy up? Health and contractual stuff enter into it as well, but the Patriots would have to feel good about the answers to the first three questions before dealing with those.
So which players who’ve been released – or may be released – could have attractiveness for the Patriots?
We roll through a few names. So far, they aren’t exactly players the Patriots would stampede in the direction of but the information is always good.
A.J. Derby, TE: A sixth-round pick by the Patriots out of Arkansas in 2015, he was traded to Denver in October 2016 and had 35 catches over two seasons before spending the past two seasons with Miami. He’s 6-5, 240 pounds and has really good hands which are attached to short arms (30.5 inches). The Saints released him after he had five catches for 41 yards this preseason.
Will Tye, TE: Another guy who was with New England for a spell, Tye hasn’t played since 2017 when he played in three games for the Jets. He’s 6-2, 260 so more of a blocking tight end/H-back. He did have 48 catches for the Giants in 2016. He had four catches for 38 yards in the preseason for the Eagles.
Luke Willson, TE: A meager two catches for 10 yards in the preseason for a not-very-good Raiders team. He’s more a blocker than a receiver. He was productive for the Seahawks from 2013 to 2017 an spent last season with the Lions catching 13 passes for 87 yards in 14 games (eight starts).
Logan Paulsen, TE: Big dude and 6-5, 268, the 32-year-old was released by Atlanta. He’s more of a blocker as his nine catches in 15 games for the Falcons last season would indicate.
Laquon Treadwell, WR: A former first-round pick the Vikings have been shopping. He’s got 56 catches for 517 yards and a touchdown in his four-year career. He’s 6-2, 215. The Patriots have enough wideout projects but file Laquon under “Someone You’ve Heard Of.”
Josh Doctson, WR: Same deal as Treadwell. The Redskins are reportedly trying to trade him. He’s 6-2, 205 pounds and has 81 catches in three seasons with Washington. Better bet than Treadwell if the Patriots were to be in the market.
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