New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett took a pay cut hoping to improve his chances of making the final 53-man roster.
The New England Patriots have a full offseason roster, using the maximum 90 spots allowed under league rules. A lot of these players will not be around in a few months when the Patriots are preparing for the 2018 regular season.
That will make for some interesting training camp battles throughout the offseason. The offensive line has garnered a lot of attention, as the Patriots will be looking to replace long-time left tackle, Nate Solder. Offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia, likes the group that he has to work with despite what some people have said.
One area that has also received a lot of attention is at wide receiver. New England currently has 11 wide receivers on the roster. Some of those players will not make it to the end of the training camp. One player potentially on the chopping block is Phillip Dorsett.
Dorsett was acquired right before the 2017 regular season from the Indianapolis Colts via trade. New England traded quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, to the Colts in exchange for Dorsett.
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Dorsett played in 15 games in the regular season, and two of the postseason games, but was used sparingly. During the regular season, he caught only 12 passes for 194 yards, adding one rush for seven yards. During the playoffs, he caught two passes for 50 yards.
That left his standing on the roster in question. Even with Danny Amendola leaving in free agency and Brandin Cooks being traded, Dorsett’s roster spot was not guaranteed. As a result, he took a pay cut to improve his chances.
Dorsett had his training camp roster bonus cut down from $450,000 to $150,000. However, he can earn some of them back through different incentives. Dorsett can earn $100,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $150,000 in receiving incentives.
Taking a pay cut could improve Dorsett’s chances of making the final roster. There is a lot of competition at the position, as Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan are the only receivers who are locked into roles and a roster spot. Malcolm Mitchell is also returning from injury and could have a role if he proves his health after a strong rookie season in 2016.
Sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios is probably a lock for the roster, as he is being touted as a replacement for Amendola. Cordarrelle Patterson and Matt Slater are probably safe as well given their impact as special teamers.
That is six wide receivers already. There may be room for only one or two more on the roster. Dorsett will be battling it out with veterans Kenny Britt and Jordan Matthews in addition to Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister.
The wide receiver position battle will be one to watch throughout the offseason. There aren’t enough spots to keep everyone, so players will have to distinguish themselves in practice and workouts to earn a spot on the roster.