Thursday, May 3, 2012
Numbers game at WR for Patriots
By James Walker
The receiver position is quickly becoming a battle royal for the reigning AFC champion New England Patriots. A dozen men will enter, but only six or seven will leave with roster spots this fall.
New England added Jabar Gaffney to the mix this week. He is one of quarterback Tom Brady's favorite receivers and is coming off a good year with the Washington Redskins, catching 68 receptions for 947 yards and five touchdowns.
The signing immediately moves Gaffney near the top of the depth chart. But where does that leave the other Patriots receivers trying to make the team? Here are the 12 players:
In April, I did a post on who's in and who's out in New England. That needs to be readjusted with the addition of Gaffney.
Analysis: Welker, Lloyd and Gaffney are locks. That leaves four roster spots, at most, for receivers. Branch is in because he's a solid veteran who knows the offense well. I think you also keep Slater as the No. 7 receiver, mostly due to the fact he's a Pro Bowler on special teams and a team captain. The final two spots are really up in the air. I think Ochocinco, Gonzalez and Stallworth all have a realistic chance. Edelman looks like the definite odd man out following the Gaffney signing.