The New England Patriots have made a big trade on today's cutdown day when they sent third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. The move has some big implications on the both the quarterback position and potentially also in the kicking game.
It also shakes up the depth chart at wide receiver. Let's take a closer look at it following the acquisition of the 2015 first round draft pick:
Another former first round pick acquired via trade, Cooks will serve as the Patriots' number one wideout in 2017. He has the speed and past production to flourish alongside quarterback Tom Brady and should play close to 100% of New England's offensive snaps.
Coming off a highly successful first season with the Patriots during which he led the NFL in yards per reception, Hogan is a breakout candidate heading into 2017. With Julian Edelman headed to injured reserve due to an ACL injury, Hogan should move up to the number two spot on the depth chart.
The player whose skill set is most similar to Edelman's, Amendola should be a regular part of three and four receiver sets in 2017. Playing alongside Cooks and Hogan, he will likely line up in the slot and be used in hurry up, late down and red zone situations. The veteran also offers depth at punt and kickoff returner.
After a promising rookie campaign, Mitchell has dealt with injuries during his second NFL offseason. When healthy, though, the 24-year old serves as a rotational third and fourth wide receiver – and a highly talented one. Sharing snaps with Amendola, Mitchell should be able to take another step forward in 2017.
The newest member of the Patriots is a lock to make the team. Coming off a season during which he caught 33 passes for 528 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Dorsett is another speedy outside threat – just like Cooks. The 24-year old also an option to serve as New England's primary punt returner. All in all, he should be an intriguing addition to the team's roster.
The future Patriots Hall of Famer is a roster lock to make the 53-man roster. However, his major contributions do not come on offense – he caught one pass in his NFL career, back in 2011 – but in the kicking game: Slater is one of the league's best gunners and serves as a team captain for the special teams units.
The undrafted rookie has been one of the Patriots' offseason standouts and led the team in preseason receiving yards. After the Edelman injury, his chances of making the 53-man roster improved but the acquisition of Dorsett naturally hurts his chances of making the team. If indeed cut later today, Carr becomes a priority practice squad candidate.
Lucien, a 2016 seventh round draft choice, has also had a very good training camp. While he ultimately is still a longshot to make the team, the 24-year old could offer valuable depth if signed to the practice squad. The question, however, is the same as with Carr: Would he clear waivers if cut?
Another undrafted rookie, Hollister's most realistic chance of staying in New England is via the practice squad – and maybe then it still depends on the fate of Carr and Lucien: While he has shown some promise as a receiver over the course of the summer, he might get lost in the numbers game.
Brought on board in late July, it would be a surprise to see Maye make the Patriots' roster and practice squad. Of course, in case Carr and Lucien are lost via waivers, he could make the scout team but as things stand right now it appears likely that his tenure in New England ends after a little more than one month.
The same has to be said for Tony Washington. The three-year was signed on the first day of training camp but has not stood out since then. Given that he was a no-show at today's Patriots practice, his roster fate might already have been sealed.
All in all, the Patriots have a very talented wide receiver depth chart – no matter how it will ultimately look once roster counts have become official in a little less than one hour.