Unexpected Patriots coach reportedly drove DeVante Parker trade talks

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Following the trade for DeVante Parker, the New England Patriots can now target other positions with their first-round pick in the upcoming draft.

That doesn’t mean a receiver should be totally out of consideration, especially if one of Chris Olave, Jameson Williams or Treylon Burks falls to them, but cornerback feels like the most logical course of direction for the front office.

Should the Patriots go that route, they could easily take the best available wide receiver in the second round at pick No. 54. Who knows? With Parker now in the mix, New England could bypass taking a receiver until Round 3.

While Parker isn’t a premium No. 1 option, his ability to draw multiple defenders, dominate along the boundary and haul in contested catches is exactly what the Patriots were missing from Nelson Agholor last season.

So who in the building pushed the Patriots to go after Parker? Surely a receiver of his caliber had a robust market once he became available, right?

Per Henry McKenna of USA Today, it was none other than Matt Patricia (!) who discovered Parker was on the market.

Patriots coach Matt Patricia reportedly had a big influence in the team’s pursuit of DeVante Parker.

Who saw that coming?

When Patricia first returned to New England, he assumed the title of “senior football advisor.” Since then, though, the former Lions head coach has transitioned to assisting Joe Judge in running the Patriots’ offense. Is Patricia manning both roles or is all of his energy committed to getting the offense humming?

Nobody knows, but Patricia deserves huge credit for driving the Parker trade talks, assuming this report is true. As New England’s defensive coordinator for three seasons (2015-2017) while Parker was with the Dolphins, Patricia likely has a pretty good idea of the headaches Parker can give opposing defenses.

Getting beyond the football aspect of the trade, who exactly is Patricia friendly with in NFL circles that he was (seemingly) the first coach/executive in the Patriots building to discover that Parker was on the trade block? Does he still have a strong relationship with Miami from his initial tenure in New England?

Or did he just have to do some light digging after the Dolphins acquired Tyreek Hill, thereby making Parker expendable? Nobody knows.

There’s so much vagueness tied to this story that all fans can do is speculate about Patricia’s pull power. Based on Matt Groh’s comments, though, it seems like the former longtime DC is a big reason Parker is now a Patriot.

If not for Patricia getting New England a leg up on the rest of the pack, it’s likely another team would have swooped in and acquired Parker.