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Seven Reasons for the New England Patriots to Sign Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne

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The Patriots have signed one of the best receivers in the history of football. But he's old. Why would they do that?

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have signed former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie WayneIt's a pretty major signing. Here are the possible reasons for signing the veteran Wayne.

1. Brandon LaFell potential PUP candidate

The Patriots wide receiver doesn't have a serious injury to his foot, but he's definitely taking his time to get back to practice. He has reportedly removed the medical boot from his foot, but he might still be a little ways away from returning to the field. He also could return next week. It's unknown at this point, but the lack of knowledge makes sense for signing a veteran with a little more certainty. Wayne would step directly into LaFell's role.

2. Similar skill set to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola

Contrary to popular belief, Wayne spends the majority of his time in the slot. He plays a very similar role to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, both players with some success in the Patriots offense. He also provides versatility to line up inside and out. Bill Belichick is always looking for another jackknife.

3. Aaron Dobson is unreliable

The Patriots third-year receiver is undergoing a hamstring injury and, prior to a great summer, was firmly on the team's bubble. The signing of Wayne might not affect Dobson's roster situation, but the fact that Dobson is fighting a soft-tissue injury that could potentially linger throughout the season is more cause to sign Wayne.

4. Brandon Gibson unknown injury

The Patriots signed Gibson in the offseason and looked to be making a legitimate case to make the roster. He was making plays inside and out and catching everything thrown in his direction. Unfortunately, it looked like he suffered a knee injury late against the New Orleans Saints. While his injury is unknown, it could be yet another reason for the Patriots to sign Wayne.

5. Brian Tyms to the Injured Reserve

It's been reported that Tyms suffered a major injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season. While the Patriots have yet to move him to the injured reserve, they're likely waiting until the roster cuts start to dissuade other teams from grabbing him.

6. Josh Boyce no longer a roster candidate

The writing was on the wall for Boyce after a rough game against the Packers and a nonexistent performance against the Saints. He could well land on the team's practice squad, but his uphill climb just turned into Everest.

7. Chris Harper is the perfect protege

Let's not get ahead of ourselves with the undrafted free agent wide receiver. It's more likely than not that he'll end up on the team's practice squad, especially with the signing of Wayne (unless the team carries seven wide receivers, which wouldn't be unheard of, but would be unlikely). Harper more than likely won't go on to a Hall of Fame career like Wayne. But when you look at the receivers' skill sets, and how Harper flashes his hands, how Harper runs his routes, how Harper offers value at multiple levels of the offense- we can dream, can't we?