In a rare trade between AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots have acquired Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
The Dolphins’ acquisition of Tyreek Hill and the free-agent signing of Cedrick Wilson Jr. made Parker expendable. Miami will now have two first-round picks, a second-rounder and two third-rounders in the 2023 NFL draft.
Meanwhile, Parker could be a top option for Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones, joining a receiving corps that includes top returnees Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
Jones immediately took to Twitter to welcome his newest teammate to New England, saying, “Let’s go,” to which Parker replied: “Let’s get it big dawg.”
The Patriots inherit the remaining two years of Parker’s contract, which calls for him to earn base salaries of $5.65 million in 2022 and $5.7 million in 2023. The Patriots are expecting to receive a compensatory third-round pick in 2023 as a result of losing cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency.
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Since Bill Belichick became head coach of the Patriots in 2000, this is only the fifth trade New England has made with the Dolphins.
The most notable came in 2007 when the Patriots dealt second- and seventh-round picks to Miami for receiver Wes Welker, who went on to set the franchise record for receptions (672).
Belichick knows Parker well from having prepared his teams to face him since 2015, when the Louisville alum entered the NFL as a first-round pick of the Dolphins.
“He’s got a very, very good skill set,” Belichick said of Parker before a game versus the Dolphins in 2020.
“He’s a big athlete that runs well, has good hands, good run-after-the-catch ability, and good quickness for his size. He presents a lot of problems on deep balls. He’s a big target on the end of routes in-cuts and crossing routes. He’s strong, can break tackles as a catcher or run player, so he attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three [receiver spots].”
The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Parker played in 10 matches last season (eight starts) and totaled 40 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns.
Over his NFL career, he has played in 93 games (64 starts), totaling 338 receptions for 4,727 yards and 24 touchdowns. He’s the Dolphins’ sixth-leading receiver all time.
Parker’s breakout season came in 2019, when he recorded 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns on 72 catches. However, his production was limited by his health over the ensuing two seasons, in which he missed nine combined games and recorded a total of 1,308 receiving yards.
As the Dolphins’ new coaching staff assembled a receiver room that specialized in creating separation and yards after the catch, Parker — traditionally a possession receiver — stood as the odd man out.
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