Nov 3, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) is introduced before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: Signing Brandon LaFell A Good Move

Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) runs after making a catch during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday it was announced that the Patriots had signed wide receiver Brandon LaFell to a three year deal, shortly after the Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Back and forth these two squads go, and while I still don’t know who has “won” free agency, I do know that signing LaFell was a good move for New England.

The thing I like most about this signing, is how different LaFell is compared to the rest of the New England wideouts (with the exception of Aaron Dobson). Yes, LaFell did spend a lot of time in the slot in Carolina, but he is much bigger than the rest of Tom Brady‘s weapons. He is 6’2, and should bring a decent outside presence to this offense. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he has shown throughout his career that he knows how to get open, and he can go up and make a play on the ball. Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola will rule the middle of the field like last year, but adding LaFell opens up a whole different dimension for Brady. Along with Dobson, LaFell will get a lot of one on one coverage on the outside, and I think he will be able to take advantage of it. When teams clog the middle of the field, you have to go outside the numbers, and up until now, the Pats had nobody to really capitalize on that. Perhaps LaFell will finally be that guy for New England.

A lot of people have pointed this out, but an underrated aspect of this signing is the competition LaFell will provide for the Patriots in camp. The coaching staff finally has a big guy to throw out there, to compete with the smaller, quicker players of the past. This should improve everybody’s games, including LaFell’s.

In his short four year career, LaFell has 167 receptions, 2,385 yards, and 13 touchdowns.

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Tags: Brandon LaFell New England Patriots NFL Free Agency

  • Mattia Rizzo

    It’s still strange that after challenging the Steelers when he was a RFA they kind of ignored Sanders this year…

    • Cyrus Geller

      I really wanted to see Sanders with the Pats this year. I don’t know why BB didn’t pursue.

  • Amar S.

    One thing that worries me, of 88 targets, LaFell only caught 49 balls. That doesn’t sound like a very reliable WR.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Definitely a concern, but part of that has to be about his quarterback. Cam is very inconsistent with his accuracy.

  • Willy

    Even though I would rather have signed a true outside receiver like James Jones with his soft hands, the fact the Pats receognized the need for another veteran receiver (like Ive noticed for 2 years or so) makes me happy. I think they overpaid him for his production but once again I’m happy they finally added another receiver. Now they can bring some of the young kids (that were drafted last year) along more slowly & sprinkle them in here or there. Win win.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Well said.