The New England Patriots’ wide receiver situation remains a work in progress: the team lost Cordarrelle Patterson to a two-year, $10 million offer from the Chicago Bears on Tuesday, before re-signing Phillip Dorsett for one season on Wednesday. With Dorsett and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman the only proven wideouts under contract for now, however, the Patriots still very much remain in the market for a receiver.
One player they apparently had an eye on was free agent Adam Humphries, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming off a highly productive four-year stint during which the former undrafted rookie caught 219 passes for 2,329 yards and nine touchdowns, Humphries was seen as one of the best wideout options on the market — and a potentially tremendous addition to the Patriots’ offense giving his short-area quickness and excellent route running.
On Monday, however, Humphries agreed to join the Tennessee Titans on a reported four-year, $36 million contract offer. New England was in the running all day long, but the 25-year-old ultimately chose the team coached by ex-Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel. The reigning world champions, according to Pats Pulpit alumnus Evan Lazar of CLNS Media, had an offer on the table for roughly $30 million over a four-year span.
According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, the Patriots raised their offer on Tuesday to give Humphries more money per year and a higher guarantee than the Titans. The free agent apparently stayed on course and committed to Tennessee, even though he reportedly had second thoughts about choosing the Titans over the opportunity to play alongside future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady in New England. For what it’s worth, no deal was announced yet.
Ultimately, Humphries will likely still go to the Titans despite all the speculation — the Patriots have only so much financial flexibility with $12.3 million in salary cap space for 2019. That being said, the reports show that the team is committed to improving its wide receiver position one way or the other. And with other veteran players like Golden Tate, Kevin White and Randall Cobb still available, one has to wonder whether the club pulls the trigger on an outside addition soon.
Author: Bernd Buchmasser