Patriots, WR Dorsett agree to 1-year deal

After winning a Super Bowl this past season, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is reportedly returning to the New England Patriots. 

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Dorsett has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the team. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed. 

The Patriots announced in May 2018 they were declining Dorsett’s fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He did hit free agency on a high note, catching a touchdown pass in each of New England’s first two playoff games against the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. 

Dorsett was the Colts’ first-round pick in 2015 out of Miami. The 26-year-old struggled to make an impression for the team in his first two seasons. He missed five games as a rookie because of a fractured fibula.

In 2016, Dorsett averaged 16 yards per reception in 15 games, though he only managed 33 receptions. Per Pro Football Focus grades, his 63.8 mark in 2016 was the eighth-worst among 115 qualified wide receivers.  Things didn’t get much better for Dorsett in New England. He had just 44 receptions, 484 yards and three touchdowns in 31 games since 2017. 

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Despite those numbers, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick clearly views Dorsett as an asset to the offense. He’s still in the early stages of his NFL life and can showcase the ability that made him a first-round pick four years ago. 

Given the potential upside, New England has nothing to lose in this deal. Dorsett brings a speed element to open up the downfield passing game.

Dorsett told ESPN earlier this year that his goal is to be a starter, but he left open a return to New England.

“Me and him have a good relationship,” he said of coach Bill Belichick. “I believe he wants me back. I do believe that. At the end of the day, you really never know. I’m going in [to free agency] with blinders. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. “Obviously, I want to win. I don’t want to play this game just to play it. I play because I love it and the relationships. The whole organization was just amazing. Obviously, everyone has their personal goals, and I do want to be a bigger role. That’s just the kind of guy I am. And helping the team win.”

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