It’s not everyday you see a trade between fierce division rivals, but that’s exactly what occurred Saturday between the Dolphins and Patriots.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots acquired receiver DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick from the Dolphins in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick. Parker, 29, is just over two years removed from recording his first 1,000 yard season and has been Miami’s de facto WR1 during multiple seasons of his career.
But after the Dolphins underwent a change at head coach, bringing in former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, Parker appeared to be on borrowed time in Miami. That only became more evident when the team traded for All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs last week and signed former Cowboys receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. in free agency.
Parker became an expendable asset for Miami, but now finds himself atop of New England’s receiving depth chart. Parker will now be catching balls from second-year quarterback Mac Jones and joins a group of receivers that includes Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and N’Keal Harry.
The Patriots will inherit the remaining two years of Parker’s four-year, $30 million contract. Parker will carry a $6.04 million cap hit in 2022 and a $6.3 million cap hit in 2023.
Parker played in 10 games last season and hauled in 40 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns. Over the course of his career, the 2015 first-round pick out of Louisville has 338 receptions for 4,727 yards and 24 scores.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is used to game-planning to stop Parker, but will now be tasked with finding ways to get him open.
“He’s got a very, very good skill set,” Belichick said of Parker before a game against the Dolphins in 2020, via ESPN. “He’s a big athlete that runs well, has good hands, good run-after-the-catch ability, and good quickness for his size. He presents a lot of problems on deep balls. He’s a big target on the end of routes in-cuts and crossing routes.
“He’s strong, can break tackles as a catcher or run player, so he attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three [receiver spots].”
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