New England Patriots 2019 training camp primer: Wide receivers
For the second straight year, the New England Patriots enter training camp with more questions than answers at the wide receiver position.
From the end of July until the middle of September of last year, the New England Patriots made a dizzying amount of moves at wide receiver. Head coach Bill Belichick knows better than anyone working in the NFL today how important it is to build a team whose sum is greater than its individual parts; so it wasn’t really a surprise to see Belichick tinkering with his roster right up to (and then through) the opening buzzer of the 2018 season.
It’s become almost a cliche at this point to note that Belichick treats September games as almost a last-gasp extension of the preseason, ironing out any wrinkles and working out the kinks before the well-oiled machine really starts humming October through December (and then hopefully all the way to February).
He may have to do more of the same this year.
Two of the five wide receivers listed on the Patriots’ final depth chart from Super Bowl 53 are gone: Cordarrelle Patterson now plays with the Chicago Bears, and Chris Hogan plays with the Carolina Panthers. Another member of that fivesome, Matthew Slater, has just one career reception in the NFL, as he’s made a living playing almost exclusively on special teams… so he doesn’t really count either.
That leaves just Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman as holdovers from the starting roster that won a championship in Atlanta.
Thankfully, the Patriots addressed wide receiver in both free agency and in the NFL Draft. Here’s how the situation looks as of now, about 16 days out from the start of training camp…