With just a week to the NFL regular season, New England Patriots players at wide receiver exude anything but strength. A few months ago, this slot looked much better with strong players like Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola and Eric Decker. However, a lot has changed and as the season starts in September, the depth chart is looking a lot different. You will remember that Cooks was traded for the first round pick Isaiah Wynn. Unfortunately, Wynn a flexible offensive lineman suffered a torn Achilles and is out for this season. This player suffered injury in the preseason. Matthews and Mitchell were also released due to injury; reducing the Patriots' luck at wide receiver.
Amendola could not resist a 2-year Dolphins deal worth $12 million. A few days ago, Decker announced to his fans and the world that he will be retiring. Decker only signed up with the Patriots less than a month ago and according to sources, he decided to retire than get cut. If you are wondering about the status of wide receiver and safety Julian Elderman, you will be delighted to learn that he will be back after missing four games in the regular season. Elderman violated the policy on substance abuse in the league; and this will be his punishment. Therefore, the wide receiver depth chart will look very different as highlighted below.
From Week 1-4, the wide receiver chart for New England has names like Hogan, Dorsett, Patterson and McCarron. In the last season, these players did not exactly impress regarding their performance. It is for this reason why Tom Brady is set to have a hard time. Having said this, the quarterback and head coach Belichick seem very composed. Probably it is because they have been here before. Yes, the Patriots have thrived despite having a poor wide receiver depth chart; and the most notable time was in the late 2000s. In 2006, Brady had to contend with the poor WR chart but managed 24 touchdowns for 3,500 yards, nabbing the AFC title game.
Some football analysts concluded that consistent passes to tight ends and tailbacks could have been the secret to success for Brady. This formula might be adapted in the 2018 season and it may still work its magic. Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots tight end could still add to the winning formula. His formidable offense has proved an asset in the past. However, he needs to be in top shape despite injuries dogging him throughout his career. Even as Elderman serves his time out, Gronks could seal some loop holes in the team. Having said this, there is still concern about how these players will blend with Brady.
At 41, Brady may certainly need a better wide receiver depth chart to compliment his effort. In the late 2000s he may have had the advantage of youth and this season could be a different ballgame. For now, head coach Belichick does not look worried. His winning formula has no room for failure this season. At least the fans are not expecting anything less than the top title.
He’s also a great wide receiver and Patriot, Montel.— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) August 30, 2018
Which wide receiver would you most like to see the Patriots acquire before Week 1? pic.twitter.com/0JD5dtD1dU— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) August 30, 2018