Patriots plan to release underperforming receiver at start of free agency

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns
New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Patriots haven't made many moves at the start of free agency so far, only signing Antonio Gibson to a three-year deal.

But they are reportedly planning to change up their receiving corps once free agency actually begins on Wednesday, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.

Despite being extended by Bill Belichick last year, the new regime in Foxboro has informed DeVante Parker of their plans to release him this week. This allows the receiver to speak to teams before then in hopes of locking up a deal with a team as soon as possible.

It's not a shocking development, per se, since Parker has struggled since being traded to New England two years ago. He was brought in to fill a specific role, but his struggles with creating separation from defenders have made him more of a liability on the field than a help.

On top of that, the 2023 season was the second worst of his career, as he recorded just 33 receptions for 394 yards. It would be unfair to claim it's entirely his fault when it very clearly wasn't because the entire offense was in shambles last year. But his first year with the team wasn't too much better.

Releasing him seems to hint at the Patriots' plans to remake their offense, particularly their receiver room. They re-signed Kendrick Bourne over the weekend and have been connected to a few more free agents over the last few days, with Tee Higgins and Calvin Ridley headlining the list.

The hope is that they will land at least one of them to take over the WR1 role and put them in an excellent position to select another great prospect for the upcoming draft.

Although it all seems good and dandy so far, the Parker release does have one significant downside, and that's the dead cap they will take on because of the decision. Granted, they do have a healthy amount of cash to spend, but it's never beneficial to have money taken that's not helping the team. So cutting Parker puts them in the books for over $6 million in 2024.

But it's the price you pay when you're trying to rebuild the roster, right?

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