New England Patriots Trade Grades: DeVante Parker fills void at WR

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been common knowledge that the New England Patriots needed help at wide receiver. Their core group of Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor just wasn’t going to cut it for the second straight year.

Many fans have been anticipating an addition at the wide receiver group, but the early stages of the offseason failed to see anyone get brought on board. Big names were flying all over the place, but New England wasn’t the destination for any of those top tier wideouts. Salary cap constraints certainly didn’t help, but many were out of the Pats price range (whether it be money or trade package), making it unlikely they were even in on them in the first place.

Yet lo and behold, the Patriots finally made an addition to their wide receiver room this afternoon by picking up DeVante Parker from the Miami Dolphins. The Pats sent over a 2023 third round pick while getting Parker and a 2022 fifth rounder in return, so they brought in a productive wideout without sacrificing any draft capital in this year’s draft. Let’s take a closer look at Parker’s fit with the team before dishing out a final grade.

New England Patriots fill a big need with DeVante Parker

Parker has always been a productive player when he’s been on the field. I say when he’s on the field because for long stretches of his career, Parker hasn’t been on the field, and has instead been nursing injuries. Parker has only played a full season just once, and that was back in 2019, which just so happened to be his most productive season to date.

Parker finished the 2019 season with 72 catches for 1202 yards and nine touchdowns, confirming that when he’s healthy, he’s a top tier wideout. Parker would struggle with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play over the next two seasons, and once Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson were picked up earlier this offseason, the Dolphins decided Parker was expendable.

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Bill Belichick and the Patriots decided it was the perfect opportunity to swoop in and make a rare trade with their division rival. Parker is a big receiver who can lineup on the outside and is a legit deep ball threat. With Agholor and N’Keal Harry struggling to do much of anything in that department last season, this is an upgrade at the outside receiver spot for second year quarterback Mac Jones and the offense.

If he can stay healthy, Parker is a guy who can help open up the offense by stretching the field vertically. The New England Patriots thought they were getting a similar guy when they signed Agholor in free agency last offseason, but he failed to live up to expectations. Parker’s downfield presence will force the defense to account for him, and open up underneath routes for guys like Meyers and Bourne.

The acquisition of Parker is pretty much a death sentence for Harry and his time with New England, which isn’t really a bad thing. Harry requested a trade during Training Camp last season, proceeded to do nothing with his chances when Belichick opted to keep him around, and will likely be dealt at some point before or during the draft. Getting pretty much anything you can for him would be considered a win at this point.

Giving up a 2023 third round draft pick was a pretty easy call for Belichick considering the team will most likely pick up a third round compensatory pick next year from J.C. Jackson’s deal with the Los Angeles Chargers. Having those two picks might have helped, but established talent is more valuable than potential talent, and Parker is already established. Plus, they got another pick for this upcoming draft, which is considered to be an extremely deep class.

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This is an easy win for the Patriots, as the only potential issue would be Parker’s health issues. When on the field he’s an extremely productive player, and his skillset fits exactly what New England needs in their offense. They will also get a thrid rounder back for next year anyways, so there was really no reason to not send this one over to Miami. This a another solid under-the-radar move by the New England Patriots, and it sets them up well for the draft.