The New England Patriots filled two of their three open roster spots on Tuesday morning with the addition of wide receivers Corey Coleman and Bennie Fowler.
The Patriots signed former Cleveland Browns first round pick Corey Coleman to a 1-year deal, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, in what is an incredibly low-risk, high-reward opportunity. The 5’11, 194 pound third-year receiver has blazing fast speed and is extremely explosive, but he hasn’t been able to combine his undeniable athleticism with any sort of production in the NFL.
In two years with the Browns, Coleman collected 56 receptions for 718 yards and 5 touchdowns and added 2 rushes for 10 yards. His has previous experience as both a kick and punt returner in college.
Coleman’s considered a pure deep threat and he joins the Patriots in a similar position to Phillip Dorsett last season. Dorsett had a small role with the team and seems to be on the verge of emerging in his second year. Perhaps Coleman can find a similar place with the Patriots.
New England also signed former Broncos and Bears slot receiver Bennie Fowler, per ESPN’s Field Yates. The 6’1, 212 pound veteran has 698 career receiving yards and 5 touchdowns on 56 receptions and also provides value as a punt returner and core special teams player.
Look for both Coleman and Fowler to get some time to adjust to the Patriots offense before they become a big part of the game plan, with Fowler more likely to play immediately because of his special teams ability. They can be considered immediate replacements for Riley McCarron on the active roster.