New England Patriots: internal free agent preview

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots misses a pass attempt against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarterduring Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chris Hogan

Position: Wide Receiver

Overview: Hogan has had an interesting three-year run in New England. During that time, he’s racked up 1,651 yards on 107 receptions for a 15.4 yards per reception average and 12 touchdowns. In nine playoff games, Hogan scored four touchdowns while also adding 34 receptions for 542 yards (15.9 yards per reception).

Those are fine numbers for most receivers – especially in New England’s share-the-wealth offense – but what has really hurt Hogan the most is the fans’ expectations. After a strong first season as the deep threat in 2016, Hogan had his best game in the AFC Championship Game that year, hauling in nine receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 2017 his role changed as he took over in the slot with Julian Edelman out injured for the season. Hogan was injured after a great first half and missed most of the second half of the season. With Brandin Cooks injured in Super Bowl 52, Hogan stepped in and had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown.

This past season saw Hogan fighting for snaps with Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett. Hogan’s statistics were similar to his first season in New England, but the expectation was higher for him by that point. He might have left a bad taste in the mouths of fans after he had zero catches in Super Bowl 53 despite seeing six targets.

Hogan will be on the wrong side of 30 years of age next season, which makes him unlikely to receive another pricey extension from the Patriots. He is still a versatile receiver with decent size and the ability to get open, though; that should be worth something on the open market.

Expected Cost: $3 to $4 million per season for three years, with at least $5 million guaranteed.

Keep or Cut Loose: CUT LOOSE