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Patriots sign wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, formerly of the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals

New England adds yet another wide receiver – and has to open up a roster spot for him.

The New England Patriots already have one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the NFL. Six members of the unit can be considered locks to make the 53-man roster, while the remaining wideouts are projected to battle for a maximum of two practice squad spots over the course of the summer.

Now, the Patriots added another player to the mix: Andrew Hawkins becomes the 12th wide receiver on New England’s roster. The veteran announced this via a video posted on Uninterrupted:

After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’m going to join the New England Patriots. I’m super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. When I exited Cleveland I said it was about joining a contender and the Patriots are the contender; they’re the reigning champs. The program is top notch and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history.

Like I said it was never really about the money, and to be honest I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation but, like I said, it was all about winning for me at this point and putting myself in the best position to do so. Nothing’s for sure, I’ve got my work cut out for me. It’s an opportunity and that’s how I’m approaching it. Going there, seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my work.

Like I said, I’m just excited to get there, get to work and hopefully I can be a part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy.

After working out with the Patriots last week, when he also received his master’s degree from Columbia, the 31-year old has now signed a one-year contract with the team, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He declined four other offers to join the reigning world champions, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

After going undrafted in 2009, Hawkins spent two years in the Canadian Football League before returning south to join the then-St. Louis Rams. He only lasted one summer with the team before getting waived and claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals, with whom he spent the next three seasons.

In Cincinnati, the 5’7, 180 lbs wideout appeared in 35 regular season games and three playoff contests and registered a combined 92 catches for 1,038 yards and four touchdowns. After the 2013 season, Hawkins joined the Cleveland Browns as a restricted free agent – and quickly made an impact.

The 2014 season was Hawkins’ best in the NFL: As the Browns’ leading receiver, he finished the year with 63 catches for 824 yards and a pair of scores. He failed to build on his success, though, and caught 60 more passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns over the next two years. Finally, in February, the Browns released the veteran.

As noted above, Hawkins joins a stacked wide receiver group. The chances of him actually making the team therefore appear rather slim. Furthermore, Hawkins is ineligible to join the team’s practice squad, meaning that his only chance of remaining in New England is on the active roster.

But even if that does not happen, spending a summer with the Patriots will certainly benefit both him and the team. After all, Hawkins could become an emergency option in case one of the wideouts atop him on the depth chart suffers an injury. Given his past production in the slot, he would thus be a logical replacement option in case Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola get hurt.

The move puts the Patriots over the 90-man offseason roster limit, so the team now has to release one player.