The New England Patriots worked out a trio of free agents recently, and that group of FAs includes former Denver Broncos wide receiver Matt Willis. According to Broncos beat writer Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the New England Patriots gave the 29-year-old veteran and UCLA Bruins product a tryout on Monday.
Willis is most famous for getting chewed out by Peyton Manning for running poor routes, but he has played for the Denver Broncos since 2009 and is another Josh McDaniels connection. And yes, I have a feeling the Patriots offensive coordinator had the biggest hand in bringing in Matt Willis to Foxboro for a tryout.
Over the past two seasons, Willis has caught just 28 combined passes and has only one career touchdown. Last season, Willis caught 10 passes for 90 yards after setting a career high with 267 receiving yards in 2011. Willis was listed as the Broncos No. 4 wide receiver over the past two seasons after spending the beginning of his career (the McDaniels era, really) on the Broncos practice squad. I highly doubt the Pats sign Willis, unless if McDaniels really wants the guy. At 29, Willis doesn’t seem to be practice squad material.
The primary value that Willis brought to the table for the Broncos was his ability on special teams, which Klis described in his piece as “solid”, and he did have 163 kick-off return yards in 2011.
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