Ian Rapoport tweeted out today that the Patriots and wide receiver DeVante Parker have come to terms on a 3-year contract extension worth up to $33 million, with $14 million in guarantees. There will also be per-game roster bonuses to protect the team against potential injury, as the 30-year-old has not played a full season since 2019.
The news of the signing comes as the team awaits an announcement from former Cardinals receiver, Deandre Hopkins. Hopkins is said to be deciding between the Titans and Patriots, with the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers “lurking” according to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. Hopkins has also indicated that he is in no rush to sign with any team, with training camp still a month away.
The Parker extension locks in a high point receiver for the team, in the event that Hopkins chooses to play elsewhere. Should Hopkins choose New England, Parker's bonus laden contract, and lack of guarantees gives the team enough flexibility to make a deal work. Like many of the deals the Patriots sign players to, it is likely a front loaded deal, preserving long term salary cap space.
Last year was Parker's first in New England. He was targeted 47 times, and pulled in 31 catches for 539 yards and 3 touchdowns, in just 13 games. As currently constructed, DeVante is the is the WR2 on the Patriots roster, just behind newly signed Juju Smith-Schuster. His 17.1 yards per reception would have been fourth in the league if he had enough receptions to qualify (ahead of Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and Justin Ja’Marr Chase).
Hopkins or no Hopkins, it appears Bill Belichick has locked in a productive receiver, on a team friendly deal, for the next few years. The offensive coordinator, and whoever wins the quarterback competition should be ecstatic.