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DeVante Parker

Patriots overpay veteran wideout

Just days after a report that DeVante Parker was a candidate to be released, the Patriots signed him to a three-year contract extension worth up to $33 million, with $14 million guaranteed. Being a former first-round pick who's had one good season in his career counts for a lot, apparently.

New England can't successfully draft wide receivers, so investing in veterans is how they've operated for most of the Belichick era. This signing seems to make it clear that they're out on DeAndre Hopkins, probably because he wants too much money, not because he isn't a lot better than Parker. They'll have JuJu Smith-Schuster probably as their No. 1 guy, and Parker, at least one other modest in veteran (Kendrick Bourne) and second-rounder Tyquan Thornton. And another former Dolphin, Mike Gesicki, who should essentially be a big wide receiver in their offense.

With Parker, it's a shining example of the silly money given to ordinary wideouts (New England has done its share of this, like with Nelson Agholor a couple of years ago). And now Parker.

Parker, believe it or not, is entering his ninth season. In just one of his previous eight has he reached 800 yards. That was his fifth season in Miami, back in 2019, rallying with a 1,202-yard, 9-TD season to earn another contract. Then he proceeded to have a forgettable 793-yard, 4-TD season, before putting up even more modest numbers the last two seasons with the Dolphins and Patriots.

I pulled the gamelogs from those two years and present them below. Playing time wasn't an issue; he was on the field a majority of the snaps for almost all of 21 games those two seasons. About a handful of them were significant, fantasy or otherwise.

Parker reached 70 yards in just six of those games, while totaling 5 touchdowns. Five times he put up more than 12.1 fantasy points in PPR leagues. That's fewer than the number of times he finished under 4 fantasy points or 20 receiving yards (seven). I guess the Patriots need to have some capable wideouts at there, but Parker should thank his lucky stars that they couldn't find someone else they liked more than him.

DEVANTE PARKER GAME LOG, 2021-2022
YearOppRecYdsTDPPR
2022at Buf.679225.9
2022Balt.5156020.6
2021Ind.477117.7
2021NYJ468116.8
2021at Buf.885016.5
2021at N.E.481012.1
2022at Minn.480012.0
2021NYG562011.2
2022at Clev.464010.4
2022at G.B.224110.4
2022Chi.36809.8
2021Buf.54209.2
2021at Ten.44608.6
2021at L.V.44208.2
2022NYJ21903.9
2022Buf.21603.6
2021N.E.21203.2
2022at Mia.1901.9
2021at N.O.0000.0
2022at Pitt.0000.0
2022Det.0000.0

If I'm drafting a Patriots wide receiver, it will be Smith-Schuster. Zero interest in Parker.

--Andy Richardson

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