It sounds crazy, but the Dolphins’ blockbuster acquisition of Tyreek Hill actually helped the New England Patriots shore up their own receiving corps.
After all, the trade made DeVante Parker expendable. As a result, the Pats — in typical Bill Belichick fashion — swooped in and acquired the former first-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick in exchange for a 2022 third-rounder.
It was the perfect storm for Belichick, who has a long track record of trading for players stuck on the outskirts of their team’s plans. For all of the criticism Belichick and the Patriots have received for their lackluster offseason, trading for Parker gives them needed flexibility leading up to the draft.
More importantly, though, it gives Mac Jones a legitimate perimeter receiver, and the second-year quarterback conveyed his excitement by welcoming his new target to Foxborough in the form of an impassioned tweet.
Fans in New England will love hearing that Parker didn’t leave his new quarterback on read. In fact, the former Dolphin reciprocated Jones’ energy.
Mac Jones and DeVante Parker already interacting on Twitter will get Patriots fans even more amped about trade.
Parker will have to earn Jones’ trust before he can supplant Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne as his favorite targets, but this fiery interaction suggests the newly-minted teammates won’t have trouble developing chemistry.
After all, the Patriots lacked a receiver with elite body control, an expansive pass catch radius, and the ability to draw coverage last year. As a result, the offense lacked explosiveness, and opposing defenses felt comfortable deploying their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage.
In turn, New England’s receivers faced a ton of press coverage and they often came up on the losing end in those matchups. It’s why we saw Jones force so many throws into tight windows. The Patriots simply didn’t have a receiver who could exploit those matchups on the boundary at a consistent rate.
Nelson Agholor was expected to fill that role after he posted 896 receiving yards and eight touchdowns with the Raiders in 2020. When push came to shove, though, he didn’t pose a big enough of a threat to command attention and Jones was forced to rely on Meyers and Bourne on underneath routes.
While Parker has struggled with injuries (he’s missed nine games over the last two seasons), he has all the tools at his disposal to be the missing piece of the Patriots offense. We’ll see how the trade pans out, but the big takeaway in the interim is that he wanted to come to New England and Jones is absolutely stoked he’s here.
Let the bromance commence.