Patriots Wide Receiver Depth 2016[the_ad id=”63198″]With time to burn before the start of NFL training camp many beat writers are passing the time with trying to figure out just who will make the cut. Under the new CBA, teams can bring 90 players into training camp.
The first cut is down to 75.
The second is to 53.
There will be a lot of players who will tryout for multiple teams, moving laterally from too much depth at their position, but strictly in terms of numbers, that’s 1,184 players getting cut league wide.
The New England Patriots have always done things their way, and being arguably the only true dynasty in a league that is constantly in flux, with four Super Bowl Championships in the last 15 years, nobody should really questions their moves.
Yet it’s fun to guess.
Recently, CSN New England’s Phil Perry made his own roster prediction for the New England Patriots and the big shocker was he left wide receiver Aaron Dobson off his 53-man projection.[the_ad id=”58837″]The wide receiver position has never been a top priority for the Patriots as Bill Belichick has always looked for a bargain when bringing in pass catchers, and this years group is no exception.
Aaron Dobson has had a solid off-season and a few weeks ago ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss mentioned in an article that he thought Dobson would be New England’s starting X receiver.
Clearly people are seeing different things here.
One thing is certain, Dobson has done this before. He flashes in spring and training camp practices, but has never been able to stay healthy when the calendar flips to September through December.
Fun Fact: Randy Moss was acquired from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth round pick and went on to score 47 touchdowns for the Pat’s over a three years span (07-09). Moss’s contract with the Patriots was $27 million for three years. This was eight years ago, so inflation needs to be factored in, but bang for buck the Moss trade and contract was one of the smoothest moves in the last decade.
It’s all about the dollars and cents for me. I believe the players on the field with the largest contracts have the biggest targets on their backs when it comes to making the roster. Julian Edelman is the teams only true stud at wide receiver and Chris Hogan was brought in this off-season through free agency. Both are being paid fairly and aren’t going anywhere. Amendola has restructured his deal to remain a part of the team, but isn’t safe.
Yet surprisingly, Dobson’s salary is cheaper than the dead money it would cost to cut him. They’ve already paid his signing bonus and his base salary is less than the dead money it would cost to release him. In other words, I would guess his roster spot is safe as long as he has a good camp. I think the Pat’s keep five, maybe six wide receivers, here is my prediction:
- Julian Edelman
- Chris Hogan
- Aaron Dobson
- Danny Amendola
- Malcom Mitchell (rookie)
- Keshawn Martin
Every little story is big news these days as it’s the clam before the NFL storm. If you believe that this is the year Dobson finally stays healthy and steps up into a bigger role with the team, now would be the time to acquire him. Remember, this is just one beat writers opinion, but the money is on Dobson’s side to remain a member of the Patriots pending any major injuries or additional acquisitions. Dobson has had another strong offseason and Edelman’s injury may sideline him longer than we expect.
Beat writers saying players aren’t going to make a team based on a previous years injury problem is a bold move. He could be right, but I don’t agree. Either way the buzz will drive Dobson’s fantasy stock down. The article was reported on Rotoworld and the buzz of Dobson’s predicted demise could catch fire quickly.