According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have agreed to terms of a three-year contract extension with veteran wide receiver DeVante Parker. Parker, who ranked second among Patriots wide receivers in picks last season, was heading into the final years of his current deal as a pending free agent in 2024. Parker’s new extension ties him to New England through 2025, and the overall value of the deal is also heavy on List players per-game bonuses and performance-based incentives, in reports. Basically, Parker gets more money if he achieves his incentives and long-term security, while the team keeps a useful player in the fold.
Parker now joins the addition of free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster, second-year WR Tyquan Thornton, rookie receivers Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte as Patriots wide receivers under contract after 2023, as Kendrick Bourne approaches the final year of his deal.
On the field, Parker brought the size and contested catching ability that New England had hoped to obtain by trading to the Miami Dolphins in their most recent offseason. The 30-year-old caught 31 passes for 539 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. Parker also caught ten of his 19 contested targets, resulting in 10 receptions for 20-plus yards, which ranked second on the team to Jacoby Myers. The six-foot-three wide also led the team with an average of 22.0 yards per catch against man coverage a year ago, producing big outside plays for New England, and is currently the Patriots’ only true “X” receiver on the roster. , which may have added motivation for keeping him in the fold.
Although there are legitimate concerns about age and durability, Parker was an effective receiver with an average of 11.5 yards per target last season, which ranked second among 92 wide receivers with 45 at least. When Parker is healthy, he is an effective player.
As to how that relates to New England’s pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins, on the surface it might seem unlikely that the Patriots would stretch Parker and add Hopkins to the mix, now a guarantee that Parker won’t be pushed off the roster by Hopkins. However, Parker’s new deal potentially creates plenty of space for the Patriots, which could provide money for the Pats to continue talks with Hopkins and secure Parker for the long term.
Although it’s unclear how much ceiling space Parker’s new deal creates, that doesn’t close the door on the Patriots signing Hopkins. In fact, it gives them more wiggle room to negotiate a deal with a wide receiver or pursue other free agents, like bringing back Dalvin Cook.
The Patriots have found powerful new pass catcher Mack Jones in Parker and is now under contract through the 2025 season.
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